Cachuma Conservation Release Board

History

History and What We Do

The Cachuma Conservation Release Board (CCRB) is a joint powers agency formed in January 1973 by Carpinteria Valley Water District, the City of Santa Barbara, Goleta Water District, and the Montecito Water District. However, in January 2011, Carpinteria withdrew its membership. CCRB was established to represent its members in protecting their Cachuma Project water rights and other related interests. CCRB's activities are funded by its Members, which in turn are funded by their water rate payers.

Fish Restoration and Enhancement Projects

In 1993, CCRB began development of a Fish Management Plan Program in the Lower Santa Ynez River with many federal, state, and local partners. CCRB was the primary implementing agency of the fisheries program until January 2011. At that time, implementation of the Fish Management Plan was transferred to the Cachuma Operation and Maintenance Board (COMB).

To limit the impacts of the high cost of carrying out steelhead restoration and enhancement projects, CCRB successfully developed partnerships with and obtained funding from national, state, and regional salmonid coalition groups. COMB continues a very successful grant funding program.

Water Rights

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, on behalf of the Cachuma Project Member Units, holds the Cachuma Project water right permits, and CCRB is the agency responsible for the actions and decisions relative to the terms and conditions of those permits for its Member Units. These include issues related to downstream releases of water from Cachuma Reservoir for the benefit and protection of steelhead/rainbow trout and their habitats, and protection of the Cachuma Project water supply. CCRB participated in water rights hearings before the State Water Resources Control Board to establish the Cachuma Project operating parameters necessary to conform to the various parties' water rights.