For the past century, Montecito Water District has reliably delivered water that meets the highest of standards — while serving as good stewards of both our resources and our customer relationships.
And we’re taking action to ensure the next 100 years of unwavering service.
For the past century, Montecito Water District has built a reputation (along with 4,600 service connections and nine reservoirs) on delivering water that meets the highest of standards — including safe drinking water standards that help protect against viruses such as COVID-19.
Only the highest quality water is delivered to our valued customers. Compliance with all State and Federal water quality standards is just part of the lofty standard for the District. Our relationship with the community and everyone in is also integral to our mission and ongoing evolution.
As your committed partner in our region’s water conversation, we center our vision and execution around several key pillars.
Good Stewards of an Essential Resource
Remember, at the end of the day, we’re all in this together. Working closely in concert with one another, we can all serve as responsible, smart stewards of a truly invaluable, vital resource. With our state in a prolonged drought, the District remains in a Stage 1 Water Emergency that includes water use restrictions that mirror those mandated by California’s “Conservation is a California Way of Life” campaign. Our ongoing, ever-evolving conservation efforts also include complimentary “water efficiency check-ups,” which can be conducted in English or Spanish; in-person or virtually.
The District also remains laser-focused on implementing a recycled water project. This project will effectively and efficiently extend drinking water supplies, further enhance water supply reliability, and better prepare everyone for the challenges posed by future droughts.
The District takes great pride in not just the health and safety of our water, but in fiscal health and responsibility as well. Attending closely to our financial health over the past few years led to the District’s new rate structure — a rate structure that supports both a more reliable water supply and significant savings through debt restructuring and other smart measures.
The District has established rates and charges necessary to maintain an adequate and reliable supply of high-quality, supremely safe water. Rates and fees are developed using careful engineering and financial analysis of service costs, and a rigorous public review process is also instituted. The majority of the District’s costs are fixed, with our customers charged based on a combination of fixed cost and the amount of water used. We expect the new rate structure to lead to a decrease in bills for around 56% of our customers over the next year.
People + Service
The District employs state-certified water treatment professionals who blend round-the-clock monitoring with extensive analysis. Compliance with all State and Federal water quality standards is just part of the standard. Only the highest quality water is delivered to our valued customers.
Technological advancements from recent years had positioned us to move to remote operations even before the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to adhere to strict COVID-19 protocols in all our efforts. Most business can now be conducted online at www.montecitowater.com — including a 24/7 online bill pay portal and access to the District calendar, instructions, and forms.
Water Quality + Safety
Quality matters when it comes to water — a lot. Compliance must always be maintained, and only the best quality water must always be delivered to our valued and trusting consumers. We even detail the high quality of our water in our annual Water Quality Report, which is released annually by July 1. Our recent Water Quality Report can be obtained by contacting Water Treatment and Production Superintendent Chad Hurshman, or visiting www.montecitowater.com/doc/ccr2019.
Safety also remains a top priority for us. This applies to both the safety of each other, as well as the safety and quality of the water we all share. As the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to unfold and evolve, the District has continued to conduct all meetings in a virtual format to maximize public safety.
History + Assets
It’s important to understand where you came from. It’s equally vital to have a clear vision for where you want to go and grow. With an eye trained closely on the next century and beyond, the District has recently diversified its portfolio of water sources as it builds towards a firm future.
In 2020, the District approved a 50-year water supply agreement with the City of Santa Barbara, backed by the City’s Charles E. Meyer Desalination Plant. This agreement provides the District with 1,430 acre-feet of water annually and is nearly 100% reliable. Deliveries are set to commence in January of 2022, and will dramatically enhance the District’s long-term water supply outlook — providing around 40% of needed annual supply.
The District also remains at work around the clock in its ongoing mission to upgrade historical infrastructure. Much of the more-than-110 miles of water distribution piping, along with many reservoirs, wells, pump stations, and water treatment facilities, was first established many decades ago. In 2020, more than 4,600 water meters were replaced with new ultrasonic water meters and transmitters. Plans are also in place for full activation of a vital automatic data collection process.
Community + Partnership
A lot can happen in 100 years. A lot has happened in the past 100 years. Through it all, Montecito Water District has not only survived, but thrived — no matter how daunting the challenges. Even in the face of a once-in-a-century pandemic. As we move confidently and intelligently forward, we’re proud to build on everything that’s come before. We’re ready for what’s next, too. In anticipation of the upcoming century, our Board has initiated a strategic planning process to best identify priorities and focus resources.
Of course, we can’t do it without your help, either. We hope you view us as a committed partner in the smart stewardship of our water supply.
When working towards all these goals, we never waver. We refuse to falter. Our commitment extends to every employee, every hour, every day. We’re in this for the long haul. Because the way we see it, the first 100 years was only the beginning.