Public Hearings, Board Actions, and District Initiatives
(Montecito, California, August 16, 2018)
Public Hearings were conducted and the Board of Directors took action on two important items in July:
- Continuation of the Water Availability Charge (WAC)
Collected annually since 1996, the Water Availability Charge is assessed on the county tax roll and funds are used exclusively for water system improvement projects such as upgrades to improve distribution services, replace aging infrastructure, and increase reliability and the ability to meet fire flows. The Board voted to continue the existing charge with no changes.
- Formation of a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA)
The Board of Directors adopted Resolution 2169 “A Resolution of the Board of Directors of the Montecito Water District Declaring its Intention to Become the Groundwater Sustainability Agency Pursuant to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act for the Montecito Groundwater Basin.”
Formation of a GSA is the next step required by the State’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), followed by the development of a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP). The public can find additional information on SGMA, and sign up for the stakeholder list and to receive SGMA updates via email on the District’s web site.
The District rolled out a new invoice format for the July billing cycle. Beginning in August, customers have new payment options, including online billpay. The new bill format is one piece of an integrated effort to improve processes and provide added efficiency, benefits, and value for customers. All customers are encouraged to review the communications enclosed with this month’s bill for important information regarding accounts and payments. Information can also be found on the District’s web site: www.montecitowater.com
In July the District posted the latest Quarterly Water Supply Update. As the region faces year 7 of historic drought, conservation continues to be essential as does securing long-term reliable supplies. The District’s water supply planning outlook (3 years) projects water supply availability through mid-2020 under drought conditions with customer conservation continuing at 30-35% compared to 2013 usage. District staff will continue to evaluate water supply conditions and the need for additional demand-management measures to ensure water supply availability over the three-year planning period. The District anticipated that customer usage would increase when allocations and penalties were removed in 2017, however the good news is that customer conservation behavior has remained consistent. The District continues to support conservation messaging and encourages customers to take advantage of an on-site consultation with the District’s conservation specialist. These are free of charge, and can be scheduled by calling 805.969.2271.
Infrastructure improvements which could help with early leak detection and controlling water loss are also being pursued. For example, the Operations Committee will be continuing with its review of costs and feasibility on the implementation of “Smart Meters.” These meters provide real-time data on water usage through a computer interface.
The next regular Board Meeting is scheduled for August 28th at 2pm in the District Office. Complete agendas and packets for all Board meetings can be found on the District web site: www.montecitowater.com.
Montecito Water District's mission is to provide an adequate and reliable supply of high quality water to the residents of Montecito and Summerland, at the most reasonable cost. In carrying out this mission, the District places particular emphasis on providing outstanding customer service, conducting its operations in an environmentally sensitive manner, and working cooperatively with other agencies. For additional information visit www.montecitowater.com, like Montecito Water District on Facebook, and follow on twitter @MontecitoWater.