California’s drought is a serious issue. Lake Cachuma is at its lowest level in decades, and the governor has asked for significant cutbacks across the board. One answer to this very serious issue is right here in our own backyard, WaterWise Santa Barbara County, a collaborative of water agencies that have been working together for more than 20 years to educate the community on water conservation and awareness.

A network of Santa Barbara County water providers, the organizations that make up WaterWiseSB work together to ensure efficient water use.

Made up of 14 water purveyors with the County Water Agency in a coordinating role, WaterWiseSB is a tremendous resource for residents and businesses looking for information and techniques to deal with drought and conserve water at home, in the landscape and at work.

The drought has different effects on various areas of the county because of varying storage and supply availability, but the WaterWise Santa Barbara County team is helping county residents cope with the changing landscape. Saving water can help residents save money on their water bill and benefit the community as a whole during these exceptionally dry times.

Programs available through some of the water providers in WaterWiseSB include landscape rebates, as well as rebates for residential and business conservation and many providers offer a visit from water provider’s staff experts to help stop savings from dripping away. In addition to these programs, WaterWiseSB offers water conservation education programs in schools.

The WaterWiseSB website is full of suggestions for water-saving actions, no-cost and low-cost do-it-yourself water saving project videos for homeowners, drought-tolerant landscaping ideas, statistics about the current and historical droughts and updates on what water providers are doing to help everyone conserve water. You can find out where your water comes from (most communities are a blend of several sources) and take away some useful ideas for irrigation, easy habits to change, and educational programs available for consumers of all ages.

Let’s save together!

Agencies participating in Water Wise of Santa Barbara County include Santa Barbara County Water Agency, Carpinteria Valley Water District, City of Buellton, City of Lompoc, City of Santa Barbara, City of Santa Maria, City of Solvang, Cuyama Community Services District, Golden State Water Co./Santa Maria-Orcutt, Goleta Water District, La Cumbre Mutual Water District, Los Alamos Community Services District, Montecito Water District, Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District ID No. 1 and the Vandenberg Village Community Services District.

— Carol Rock is a publicist representing WaterWise Santa Barbara County.