The Times are Changing for Montecito Water District

(Montecito, California, April 27, 2018)

Beginning May 22nd, regular Board Meetings will be held on the fourth rather than the third Tuesday of the month. The change was made to better correlate with monthly accounting procedures, and will facilitate a more timely review of financials. The location and start time will remain the same: 2pm at the District Office. Operations and Finance Committee meetings were also moved to one week later in the month to correspond to the new Board Meeting time. The most updated schedule can be found on the District Calendar at www.montecitowater.com.

Timeliness and efficiency were the theme of April’s meeting, where the Board moved rapidly through several items of business including the adoption of Resolution No. 2163 authorizing the submittal of a Basin Boundary Modification application to the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). This clarification of overlap between the Montecito Groundwater Basin and the Carpinteria Valley Groundwater Basin is an essential preliminary step for forming a “GSA” Groundwater Sustainability Agency which the District is pursuing as part of “SGMA,” the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. Staff reported that the District is making steady progress through the GSA formation process and anticipates filing with the State in 2018 per plan, subject to Board approval. More information about the SGMA/GSA initiative is available on the District web site.

The Board also approved an updated Memorandum of Understanding to renew participation in Santa Barbara County’s Integrated Regional Water Management Program (IRWM). Staff backed participation, and General Manager Nick Turner commented, “We’ve only been a member since 2016. The project development process comes from the member agencies, who work together to come up with projects that have regional benefit. North, mid, and south county participants meet separately to work on regional solutions."

With regards to local projects, the District reported that the Sycamore Canyon Water Main replacement is again underway and approaching completion; a smoother finishing of the asphalt will be part of the final phase.

The District’s Quarterly Water Supply Update indicates that most of Santa Barbara County is categorized as “D2,” being in Severe Drought, and Montecito Water District is in Stage 2 Water Shortage Emergency. Analysis of the District’s current water supply portfolio, usage trends, and planned acquisitions forecasts sufficient supplies through 2020. The District is also addressing long-term water quality issues and risks created by the Thomas Fire. The bottom line is that Conservation remains a hot topic as the rainy season comes to an end. This week the State Water Project allocation was increased modestly, from 20% to 30%, indicating that indeed locally and statewide “Conservation is a California way of life,” will continue to be an essential message.

Montecito Water District Image: Historically rainfall levels off from April – October. The graph shows that the current year, 2017-18, appears to be in alignment with the 2011-2016 drought years.

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.

 

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