Jackson Takes a 'Drought Tour' of Lake Cachuma, Other Sites

March 19, 2014

SANTA BARBARA – 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, March 21, State Senator 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.

Members of the media are invited to attend any or all of the tour, but must RSVP in advance to ensure a spot.

“This drought is extremely serious and demands our full attention,” said Jackson. “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.

Tour Schedule for Friday, March 21

9:30 am Check-in at the Cachuma Lake Recreation Area parking lot, by the boat dock, located at 2225 Highway 154, Santa Barbara.

10 am-noon Lake Cachuma Tour
The media is invited to join Jackson for an up-close view of Lake Cachuma, which officials say will no longer continue to convey water to the 200,000 residents who rely on it if lake levels drop at the current rate. This portion of the tour will be by pick-up truck to better access the site, and will include a stop at the intake gate, a discussion of the proposed emergency pump system, and a brief stop at the Bradbury Dam. 

12:30 p.m -2:00 p.m. City of Santa Barbara water recycling plant and desalination plant
Jackson will begin at the El Estero Wastewater Treatment Plant, 520 E. Yananoli St, Santa Barbara and tour the water recycling plant. The plant is in need of upgrades, and currently provides recycled water to several projects in the city. She will also tour the Charles Meyer Desalination Plant across the street.

2:30 p.m.-3:45 p.m. Avocado Orchard Site Tour
Jackson will tour an agricultural efficiency project at an avocado orchard in Carpinteria, 3180 Foothill Road, with the local Cachuma Resource Conservation District, which runs a mobile irrigation lab.

Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.