Bradbury Dam Scheduled to Make Downstream Releases Santa Barbara County, California

In response to the continued drought affecting the Santa Ynez Watershed, the Santa Ynez River Water Conservation
District would like the Public to be aware that water will soon be released into the Santa Ynez River from Lake
Cachuma’s Bradbury Dam. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will release water from Bradbury Dam starting at 8:00 a.m.
on August 6, 2018. The release is being called for by the Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District to provide water
to recharge the groundwater basins along the Santa Ynez River downstream of the Dam. These groundwater basins
provide an essential source of water for the cities, towns and farming interests along the Santa Ynez River and on the
Lompoc Plain.
Initially released at about 180 cubic feet per second (360 acre feet per day), the water will move downstream to provide
recharge as far as the Lompoc Valley. It will be confined to the “low flow” channel of the river. The release is expected
to continue for about three months. The flow may impede traffic on low river crossings and caution is advised near
moving water at all times.
The release is consistent with State water rights orders as well as agreements among users who store water in Lake
Cachuma. Cachuma Reservoir stores water for the South Coast and downstream users in the Santa Ynez and Lompoc
Valleys. Water for the South Coast is released to the Tecolote Tunnel through the Santa Ynez Mountains. Water for areas
below the Dam is released into the river from outlet works at the Dam. About 10,000 acre-feet of water is expected to be
released. The combination of South Coast water use and the water rights release will reduce the water level in the
reservoir to approximately 58,000 acre-feet (elevation 690 feet) by the end of October.
This release will not impact water deliveries to the South Coast and has been coordinated with the Cachuma Operations
and Maintenance Board (COMB). Although the Lake will be lower, facilities at Cachuma County Park, including the boat
ramps, will remain in full operation.

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