Santa Barbara has a long history of using our water resources wisely. Even as population has continued to grow, water usage in the City has decreased. We want to thank our water customers for doing a tremendous job conserving water and serving as a model water wise community. Although we have a diverse water supply, Santa Barbara is a semi-arid climate with little rainfall; there is never enough water to waste.
The graph below shows the recent history of water usage in the City’s service area; one acre foot equals 326,000 gallons. As you can see, as severe drought developed during the late 1980's, usage declined drastically. After the end of the drought in 1992, usage slowly rose to reflect water demand going back to normal customer usage (no rationing) with a continued water conservation ethic and the effect of the City’s ongoing Water Conservation Program.
Residents of Santa Barbara are continuing to save water with more efficient technology for indoor and outdoor water use and continuing wise water use habits. In 2013 (pre-drought), the City of Santa Barbara’s gross gallons per capita per day (gpcd) was 130 gpcd. California law requires a reduction in urban per capita water use of 20% by the year 2020. The City's target is 117 gpcd by 2020. To learn how to use water wisely, click here.