Despite recent rain, California continues to face the most serious drought it has seen in decades. The Central Coast is among the most impacted areas of the state, having been recently designated an area of “extreme drought” by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
On Friday, state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, will tour Santa Barbara County drought sites, as well as projects designed to enhance capacity and reduce demand, including the critically dry Lake Cachuma and the City of Santa Barbara’s water recycling plant and desalination plant.
She will also visit the Cachuma Resource Conservation District’s mobile irrigation lab on a Carpinteria avocado farm that recently completed a water efficiency project.
“This drought is extremely serious and demands our full attention,” Jackson said. “It’s important that I stay in touch with the needs, challenges and operations of my district, so I can advocate on behalf of the people I represent as we seek additional sources of funding and assistance to help us address this crisis.”
In late February, the Legislature took a first step and passed emergency legislation that expedites nearly $680 million for drought relief, water efficiency, emergency drinking water assistance and other projects to help Californians dealing with the drought. Most of the funds are being awarded in upcoming months through a competitive grant program. Several area projects will likely be applying for these funds.
Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.
— Lisa Gardiner is the communications director for state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson.