Non-profit works to restore dry Atascadero Lake - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Non-profit works to restore dry Atascadero Lake

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Atascadero Lake has been hit hard by the drought, but a local non-profit is working to restore the dry lake bed through a grassroots fundraising campaign while hoping for some help from mother nature.

Goats now munch away at weeds in dry Atascadero Lake where water once glimmered. 

Judy Scott has taken walks around the lake for years. "Our dry lake, but it'll come back, El Nino is coming, I miss all the ducks," she told KSBY. 

Paul Murphy is part of the Friends of Atascadero Lake and remembers when water from the lake could be used for firefighting, something that is not at all possible now. 

"We have to shovel dirt onto the fire now I guess, there's no water in the lake and hopefully that's one of the side benefits of getting back to having a lake full of water," Murphy said. 

After several other wells that once helped fill the water dried up, the non-profit group has worked with the City to find a solution. 

"Friends of Atascadero Lake have drilled a new well and they are working on efforts to supply water to the lake with that new well," said Nick Debar with the City of Atascadero. But it isn't a quick fix. "This new well is really not meant to fill up the lake, it's meant to just offset some of the evaporation that occurs during the summer months."

The goal: to bring back just enough water for activities like kayaking and fishing, but it doesn't come cheap. The group needs $30,000 just for one part of the project. 

"Our next project is creating a pipeline that will get water from the well to the lake so that we can maintain a lake all year long," Murphy said. A sight many locals say they would love to see. 

"We still enjoy it even though it's dry but it will be back," Scott said. 

So far, Friends of Atascadero Lake has raised a little more than $1,600.

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