The two new weather stations, in Lompoc and in the Mesa area of the City of Santa Barbara, have begun to record weather data which can be accessed by County residents. These new stations are part of a statewide weather tracking system, the California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS) managed by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). The CIMIS previously had five existing stations in Santa Barbara County, specifically in Sisquoc, Santa Ynez, Cuyama, Goleta and the Santa Barbara foothills. The two new stations were gained through extensive cooperation, negotiation, co-funding and staff work by the County, DWR, water purveyors in the affected areas, and the Cachuma Resources Conservation District (CRCD). CRCD and the City of Santa Maria are also working with DWR to establish yet another new CIMIS station in Santa Maria.
The CIMIS stations are designed to provide data useful for both urban landscape irrigation and agricultural irrigation. Data can be accessed at the CIMIS website: http://wwwcimis.water.ca.gov/
The Santa Barbara County Water Agency uses CIMIS data in calculating a “Weekly Watering Index” which the public can access at www.sbwater.org to help residents adjust their outdoor water irrigation systems for optimal watering based on weather conditions. CIMIS data is also used in a “Landscape Watering Calculator”, found in the Landscape section of www.sbwater.org, which residents can use to determine an appropriate schedule for their outdoor landscape watering.
“We are pleased to help provide residents with access to additional weather data for their locations,” said Scott McGolpin, Director of the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department. “Given our highly variable weather conditions during the year and the many micro-climates across Santa Barbara County, the CIMIS weather data can be very helpful to agricultural and urban residents in adjusting their water usage.”
For more information, contact the CIMIS helpline at (800) 922-4647; or contact your water provider directly or find them in the About Us section of www.sbwater.org.