SANTA YNEZ — Water released from Lake Cachuma will flow through the Santa Ynez River starting on Monday.
The Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District called for a downstream 89-18 water rights release from Lake Cachuma earlier this summer. The water release was approved and is set to begin Monday. Officials anticipate that the release will last through Nov. 1.
This water release will provide about 5,800 acre-feet of water to replenish the groundwater basin along the Santa Ynez River. Groundwater basins along the river are an essential source of water for cities, towns and farms, according to a news release.
For this release, only water from the Above Narrows Account, which is held in Bradbury Dam at Lake Cachuma, will be used.
Given the regional drought, officials say there is a “high probability” that water from the Above Narrows Account and the Below Narrows Account may be needed to replenish the lake if the rainy season is dry. The Below Narrows Account is a water reserve that is also held at Bradbury Dam at Lake Cachuma.
A similar water release was performed in August 2020 to provide water recharge to the groundwater basins along the Santa Ynez River. Last year, about 16,000 acre-feet of water was released from Bradbury Dam to replenish basins.
— Madison Hirneisen