This year’s winter rains have replenished the District’s surface water supplies, with Lake Cachuma full and having spilled for several months for the first time since 2011. Statewide water supply conditions resulted in an increase in the 2023 State Water allocation to 100%, which the District will store for use in future years. As a result, the Goleta Valley water supply outlook has significantly improved and the District no longer needs to consider declaring a water shortage emergency. A full Lake Cachuma combined with the District’s diverse water supply portfolio of groundwater, State Water and recycled water means the Goleta Valley is well positioned for whatever the next few years bring. Even with the significant rainfall this year, using water wisely remains important given the history of dry conditions and cyclical drought.
The District is already preparing for a dry day by shifting from groundwater pumping to actively injecting surplus Cachuma water into the basin for the first time in over a decade. By relying on surface water supplies and injecting treated water when it is available, this critical drought buffer will remain available in the future.