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Loch Lomond continues to supply water as dry weather continues
Water supply "Insurance Policy" being used in ongoing dry weather
Posted Date: 12/4/2013 2:30 PM
For Immediate Release

Water Supply “Insurance Policy” Being Used in Ongoing Dry Weather
Loch Lomond Last Spring            Loch Lomond Last Week
Loch Lomond under normal conditions       Loch Lomond last week
Santa Cruz – While snow is finally beginning to fall in the Sierras, conditions in Santa Cruz continue to be abnormally dry. Unlike many other California communities, whose water resources include mountain snowmelt, Santa Cruz relies 100% on local rainfall for its water supply. When it doesn’t rain here, we rely on last year’s rain which is stored in the Loch Lomond Reservoir. In normal years, water in Loch Lomond is only used during the summer months – typically from June through October – so that it can remain a “back-up” supply, should the rains not come. The rains have not come this year, so the need to draw water from Loch Lomond continues.

“With cooler weather and shorter days, we’ve been able to reduce the amount of water we need to draw from Loch Lomond,” said Toby Goddard, Water Conservation Manager. “Loch Lomond is our insurance policy for a short period of drought, so we try to use as sparingly as possible. This year we’re still drawing it down and it’s currently at 66.8%.”

Water conditions in November continued to be mostly dry across California.

• In Santa Cruz, rainfall for the season- to- date measures 1.01 inches. Normal for this time of year is 5.7 inches. This time last year, rainfall measured 6.6 inches.
• In the City’s watershed, rainfall to date measures 1.3 inches; last year at this time it measured 8.9 inches.
• Stream flows in the San Lorenzo River, the city’s primary source of water supply, remain very low.
• Stage 1 water restrictions remain in place until further notice.
• Major California reservoirs, such as San Luis Reservoir, are currently at record low levels.

Water Department staff is actively engaged in planning for the possibility of more severe restrictions, in case dry weather conditions continue into 2014. A status report on the water supply outlook for 2014 is planned for late January.

For more information on Loch Lomond and on ways to conserve water, visit

Contact: Eileen Cross, Communications Specialist
City of Santa Cruz Water Department
831.676.7090 (mobile)