Main Replacement Program

Long Term Water Plan
Over the last decade, Montecito Water District developed reliable water supplies and built advanced treatment plants to improve water quality.

With these challenges resolved, the District is now upgrading its water distribution system, much of which is over half a century old and requires major repairs and replacements.

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Favorable Interest Rate
To pay for the many needed upgrades, the District in 1998 approved a $13.5 million bond borrowing at an exceptionally low rate of 5.24%. These funds will be used only for capital programs including system upgrades and replacements. This long term financing avoids substantial rate increases and ensures the availability of funding necessary for efficient planning. The water system improvements paid for by the financing will provide service for many decades. It is appropriate to pay for these upgrades over time so that current customers pay for benefits received now, and tomorrow's customers pay their share of future use.

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Many Needed Projects
Much of the water system requires significant upgrade and repair. Some of the most urgently needed projects include:
  • Replace 20 miles of old and worn pipelines
  • Add high-capacity fire hydrants
  • Install new pump stations to increase water pressure and reliability
  • Cover Ortega Reservoir to meet water quality mandates
  • Participate in seismic upgrade of the dam at Lake Cachuma

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Goal: Meet Water Needs at a Fair Cost
With reliable water supplies now in place, including state of the art modern new water treatment plants, the District is continuing its long tradition of meeting customer water needs at a fair price through its new water distribution system improvement program.

A key source of funds to pay for water distribution system upgrades continues to be the water availability charge which is an annual assessment of $30 per acre for the first five acres or fraction of an acre. A sliding scale formula is used for larger lots and agricultural and recreational parcels. The assessment is collected by the County along with property taxes as a Water Availability Charge, and is used exclusively to finance water system improvements.

California law requires that the Water Availability Charge be renewed each year. The assessment amount has remained stable over the last two years since it was initiated, and no change in the Assessment was established for the coming year. A written report containing a description of each parcel of real property in the District and the amount of the assessment for each parcel for the year is on file and is available for review at the District Office.

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1998 Montecito Water District
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