Sunday, December 4 , 2016, 12:29 am | Fair 40º


Local News

Santa Barbara Water Users Make Substantial Cutbacks in June

City officials say demand dropped 15 percent last month, bringing overall conservation totals to 7 percent since March

Santa Barbara residents reduced water usage by 15 percent in June, putting the city closer to its conservation goal put in place for the region's extreme drought, officials announced Wednesday.

The past three years have been the driest consecutive years on record, and the city has asked people to cover swimming pools, stop watering grass and turn off large ornamental fountains in response.

The city declared a Stage II drought in May and has asked residents to voluntarily cut water usage by 20 percent each month.

Rate increases were also put in place on July 1, and customers may see an increase on their forthcoming water bills.

Last week, city leaders outlined how many local parks are going brown and that some are not being watered at all as an effort to save water.

Because the city's recycled water facility is down for another year, the Parks & Recreation Department has been forced to use potable water for landscaping, so it has cut back significantly on irrigation to many public places.

The city's reduction efforts from March through June have saved 363 acre feet of water, or 7 percent below a typical demand for that same four-month period, according to Madeline Ward, the city's acting water conservation coordinator.

Water demand over the last four months has fluctuated significantly, and Ward said it is critical that the community achieve and maintain the 20 percent goal.

Santa Barbara had a 5 percent drop in demand initially, a 12 percent cut in April and no water savings whatsoever in May, acting water resources manager Joshua Haggmark has said. 

"Since nearly half of the water in the community is used outdoors, the summer months offer the greatest opportunity for water savings," Ward said, adding that the June numbers show the city is on the right track. "The water that is saved today will help the community extend local water supplies further and reduce the need for future cost increases to develop additional water supplies."

The city is offering free water checkups, which can be scheduled by calling 805.564.5460 or by clicking here.

Anyone who witnesses water being wasted in the city can report it online by clicking here to note the date, time, and upload a picture so the officials can follow up, Ward said.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >