The drought has dropped Lake Cachuma to about a third of its capacity, but today, it was actually releasing water into the Santa Ynez River.
The release is necessary to recharge groundwater basins along the river downstream from Bradbury Dam.
The basins are essential for residents, and agriculture along the river.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is making the releases at the request of the Santa Ynez Water Conservation District.
Plans call for releasing about 300 acre feet a day into this fall, with a total of about 4500 acre feet of releases planned.
The releases would mean about a three foot drop in the lake’s water level.
They won’t affect current water deliveries to the Santa Barbara area, or recreational activities in the lake.