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         Fall 1998

Many surprising expenses are necessary to maintain adequate water supplies. In recent years, local water agencies have been required to spend $125,000 for vegetation studies, another $125,000 for water quality studies, $350,000 per year for fish studies, and several million dollars for seismic upgrades to Bradbury Dam. Despite growing costs, water remains a bargain - only about one penny for 3 gallons.

Water Agencies Seek Win/Win Environmental Solutions

Last year's heavy rains raised groundwater levels  so much that a number of Montecito residents had water literally rising out of the soil on their properties.

Yet, less than a decade ago, Montecito was suffering from the worst drought ever recorded here. Montecito's famous landscapes wilted, lawns were sacrificed and mature trees died of thirst.
Regardless of the weather, Montecito Water District must continually plan ahead to meet customer water needs.

Montecito Water District and its partners in the   Fish Technical Advisory Committee rescued over 800 steelhead/rainbow trout from a naturally drying creek  near Lake Cachuma.

Gin Chow, a 1930's era farmer led a water rights lawsuit against Montecito Water District. A judgement by the State Supreme Court established Montecito's right to use water from the upper Santa Ynez River area.

Montecito Water District has invested years of effort to maintain use of its high quality Fox and Alder Creek supplies. Focus of the effort has been protection of the endangered red-legged frog.


Expensive Environmental Studies

Local water agencies are preparing for the environmental studies that will be required for the State hearings on Lake Cachuma water supplies.

It is hoped that the studies can build upon the massive $2 million Lake Cachuma environmental review conducted just a few years ago by local agencies. Montecito Water District and its partners are seeking to conduct a thorough environmental review at a reasonable cost.


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1998 Montecito Water District
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