Santa Barbara City Council members declared a Stage One drought on Feb. 11, calling on residents and businesses to reduce water use by 20 percent through conservation measures.
The action comes as the city is facing its third consecutive dry year, with winter rainfall only 14 percent of average. Last year marked the driest year on record in many locations throughout the state. Gov. Jerry Brown last month declared a state of drought emergency in California and urged officials to prepare for drought conditions. The city said it currently has enough water to meet demand this year, but without significant rainfall, shortages will occur next year.
The first stage of the city’s plan to reduce water use is declared when there is a potential for serious shortages while demand remains high. The most effective way to reduce water usage by 20 percent or more is to evaluate landscape water use and check for leaks, according to a statement released by the city. In light of recent rain, the city has asked that sprinkler timers be turned off for at least 10 days or until soil dries out.
For help evaluating water use and to find out about conservation opportunities, residents and businesses can call (805) 564-5460.