The ongoing drought and a new regulation from the state could lead to a Santa Ynez Valley water district’s first declaration of a supply shortage in its 55-year history.
The board of directors for the Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District, Improvement District No. 1 will meet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the ID1 office at 3622 Sagunto St.
The board will decide whether to implement water-shortage emergency measures and authorize a Stage 2 Critical Water Supply Shortage Emergency.
The district, known as ID1, serves the communities of Santa Ynez, Los Olivos, Ballard and the city of Solvang.
With approximately 6,700 customers (excluding the city of Solvang), ID1 provides water through more than 2,500 domestic and rural residential/limited agricultural connections, and nearly 120 agricultural connections.
The district is considering the emergency measures due to the State Department of Public Health’s plan to implement Chromium-6 regulations, effective July 1, limiting ID1’s ability to utilize groundwater supplies.
This new regulation comes as the water district is dealing with ongoing drought conditions that have reduced water received from Cachuma Lake and the State Water Project.
ID1 officials said they will continue to provide water for domestic users and sanitation purposes, but the declaration would let district officials set priorities for other users.
“As a result, the ID No.1 Board may enact new restrictions on water use to maintain the limited water supply available to the community by instituting a mandatory 16- to 25-percent cut on water usage," water district officials said.
"Additionally, if the declaration is adopted, water service to agricultural customers may be interrupted if needed to maintain water supplies for health and safety purposes.”