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Posted on August 13, 2014 | 2:14 p.m.

Cachuma Dam Scheduled to Make Downstream Releases

Source: Tom Fayram for Santa Barbara County Public Works Department

The Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District and the Santa Barbara County Water Agency would like the public to be aware that water will soon be released into the Santa Ynez River from Lake Cachuma’s Bradbury Dam.

The U. S. Bureau of Reclamation will release water from Bradbury Dam starting at 8 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.

The release is being made at the request of the Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District to provide water to recharge the groundwater basins along the Santa Ynez River downstream of the Dam.

These groundwater basins provide an essential source of water for the cities and farming interests along the river.

Initially released at about 150 cubic feet per second (300 acre-feet per day), the water will move downstream to provide recharge as far down as Solvang. It will be confined to the “low flow” channel of the river.

The release is expected to continue into the fall. The flow may impede traffic on low river crossings and caution is advised near moving water at all times.

At this time, up to 4,500 acre-feet is expected to be released.

The release is consistent with state water rights orders as well as agreements among users who store water in Lake Cachuma.  Cachuma Reservoir stores water for the South Coast, Santa Ynez Valley, and downstream users from the Dam to Lompoc.

The water level in the reservoir is expected to be reduced by about three feet as a result of this water rights release. This release will not impact water deliveries to the South Coast and has been coordinated with the Cachuma Operations and Maintenance Board (COMB).

Although the lake will be lower, the Cachuma County Park will remain in full operation. Boat launch facilities are constructed so that all recreational activities can continue as lake levels change.

For online park reservations go to:  http://reservations.sbparks.org/

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