SANTA BARBARA — The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors has proclaimed a local drought emergency.
The proclamation came at the board’s meeting Tuesday, about a week after Gov. Gavin Newsom added the county to a list of 50 counties across the state that are experiencing a drought. He asked residents to conserve water usage by 15%.
According to a report from the U.S. Drought Monitor, about 30% of California is in exceptional drought, the most severe of the monitor’s categories.
Now that the Board of Supervisors has proclaimed a drought emergency, the county can take immediate action to mitigate conditions.
In Santa Barbara County, residents receive water through storm runoff, the State Water Project, recycled water and desalination, according to a news release. This water is delivered by multiple purveyors in various water departments and agencies.
Residents in various North County areas receive mostly groundwater and state water, while residents in Santa Ynez, Ballard and Los Olivos get some river water, according to a news release.
The Santa Barbara Water Agency, which was established in 1945, oversees the conservation of storm, flood and other surface waters, while also educating consumers about how to conserve water. For more information on water conservation practices, visit waterwisesb.org.
— Madison Hirneisen