Santa Barbara City Council Declares Stage One Drought

A Stage One Drought was declared by the Santa Barbara City Council yesterday, February 11th, 2014. The City is asking residents and businesses to reduce water use by 20% with extraordinary water conservation measures. Water customers currently watering their landscape are encouraged to reduce more than 20%.

The City is experiencing the third consecutive dry year; 2013 marked the driest year on record at many locations across California. Santa Barbara’s winter rainfall to date is only 14% of average. On January 17, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown declared a State of Drought Emergency in California and urged officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for drought conditions.

While the City currently has adequate water supplies to meet demands this year, without significant rainfall water shortages will occur next year. A Stage One Drought is the first stage of the City’s plan to reduce water use during drought conditions, and is declared when there is a potential for a serious water shortage if dry weather continues and water demand remains high. Any water saved now can help prevent more severe measures in the future.

The best way to reduce water usage by 20% or more is to evaluate landscape water use and check for leaks. The City is asking that each resident and business evaluate their water use and see where they can conserve. Due to recent rain, everyone’s sprinkler timer should be off for at least 10 days after it rains or until soil dries out.

The City’s Water Conservation Program is here to help everyone save water; for help evaluating water use and conservation opportunities, receive a free water checkup. To schedule, call 564-5460.

See the City’s Drought FAQs

For more information, visit

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