Supply and Conservation


Meter-Reading Dates are now shown on the District Calendar.

How To Measure Your Water Use and Determine If You Are Within Your Allocation


If you cannot locate your meter, are disabled, or you would like District Staff to show you where it is located and how to read it, please contact us at: (805) 969-2271.

For more information:

How to locate and open your water meter

Your water meter can usually be found in a ground-level concrete box near the street.

Bring a flashlight and two large flat head screwdrivers to open the meter box cover. You may want gloves, too. Clear away any spiders or leaves with a screwdriver.

  1. Stick one screwdriver in the hole to use as a lever.
  2. Use the other screwdriver to pry up the outer edge.
  3. Lift the lid just enough to slide it away from the opening with your foot. (Replace the lid by sliding it back into place.)

Inside the meter box is a hinged meter cover. Flip the cover into an upright position to read the meter face.

How to read the meter gauge

The District uses several different types of residential water meters. Most meters in Montecito look like the ones pictured below.

The numbers required are outlined in blue and red. Where the two colors intersect is where you will place a decimal point. For these two examples, you would enter 728.90 as the odometer reading in the calculator.

It is Critical That You Record Your Water Use Early in the Billing Period.

At the beginning of the billing period, read your meter and again a week or so later. The exact time period does not matter. Repeat as often as needed during the month. Water meters are read over three days near the end of the month. Your meter billing period is the time between your meter readings by the District.

The specific day of your last meter read and the amount read can be found on your bill or by calling the District at (805) 969-2271


Reading #1 Reading #2 Allocation

Where can I find my allocation?



What to Do If You Are Over Your Allocation

The Penalties are Severe for Exceeding Your Allocation.

  • Any use in excess of your allocation will be subject to a penalty premium of $30 per HCF.
  • The second month with excess water use will result in a penalty premium increase to $45 per HCF.
  • Consumption that is 25% over allocation, or a third month of over-allocation consumption, is subject to installation of a flow restriction device.
  • Any account that has a flow restrictor device installed and that exceeds allocated consumption that year is subject to discontinuation of water service.

Make a Plan on How You Will Cut Water Use.

  • Most water is used outdoors so focus there.
  • Meet with your gardener or landscaper and make a plan. Depending on how much you are over your allocation, you may face minor or extreme changes.
  • Get a free landscape water checkup from our Water Conservation Specialist Mike Clark. He works in Spanish and English with owners and gardeners.

What to Do If You Are Under Your Allocation

Congratulations for Being a Wise Water User.

  • Continue to conserve—you may be able to save even more, lowering your water bill and benefitting the entire community.
  • Continue to watch your water use and allocation closely. Make a plan to remain under your allocation.

Tips to Help Everyone Conserve and Remain Within Their Allocation

Remember, this is the worst drought in our recorded history at a time when water use has soared to the highest levels ever. The District continues working to develop or purchase additional water. Everyone needs to band together and save water to stretch our supplies as long as possible.

  • Set your irrigation system to no more than one night a week of watering. Reduce watering to 4-5 minutes or less.
  • Accept that you and your neighbors will have brown lawns and less than exuberant shrubs and gardens. But do save your large trees.
  • Read your meter every week and calculate if you are within your allocation limit.
  • Read your meter more often in the last half of the month to make sure you do not exceed your allocation.


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