Reclamation to Release Water from Bradbury Dam

Media Contact: Jeffrey McCracken, 916-978-5100

For Release: July 08, 2004

The Bureau of Reclamation will release water from Bradbury Dam (Lake Cachuma) starting at 8 a.m., Monday, July 12, 2004. The flow may impede traffic on low river crossings; caution is urged near moving water at all times.

Released at about 150 cubic feet per second (cfs), or about 300 acre feet per day, the water will move slowly downstream and is expected to reach Lompoc in about 10 days. It will be confined to the river’s low flow channel. When the water reaches the Lompoc area, the release will be eventually ramped down to as low as 20 cfs, and will continue into the fall.

The release is being made at the request of the Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District to provide water for replenishment of the ground-water basins along the Santa Ynez River downstream of the dam and in the Lompoc Plain. These ground-water basins provide an essential source of water for cities and farming downstream of the dam. The release is consistent with State water rights orders as well as other agreements among all users who store water in Lake Cachuma. These arrangements provide the basis for reliable water supplies, even in periods of below average rainfall such as the region is now experiencing.

Lake volume is estimated to decrease from about 92,000 acre-feet (af), or 49 percent of capacity, in mid-July to about 66,000 af, or 35 percent of capacity by mid-November, the start of the winter rain season. The decline in reservoir level is the result of continued diversions to the south coast, evaporation, and downstream water rights releases. The reservoir holds 188,030 af when full. Although the lake will be lower than it has been since 1992, the Cachuma County Park will remain in full operation. Boat launch facilities are constructed so that all recreational activities can continue.

For more information, please contact Antonio Buelna at Reclamation’s Fresno Area Office at 559-487-5117 (TDD 559-487-5933), or e-mail:

# # #

Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.