SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden will help conservation efforts in the Cuyama Valley thanks to a $818,000 grant from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The new three-year Equity Agreement will help conservation efforts in the area through soil and water as well as benefit farmwork with new environments.

The high-desert and hyper-rural community in the Valley still relies on groundwater for all water uses and recent decades have drained the groundwater in the area faster than it could be restored.

Compliance with the California Sustainable Groundwater Management Act is now required to bring the basin back to normal.