We've had lots of rain, why is there still a Water Supply Shortage Emergency?
Current as of July 2019:
MWD has a Stage 1 Water Shortage Emergency Condition
While hydrologic conditions improved significantly with the 2018/19 rainy season, the District’s water supplies have not fully recovered from the cumulative impacts of the historic seven-year drought spanning 2012 to 2018. Groundwater levels remain near historic lows and although the basin is showing signs of recovery, it is expected to take several consecutive years of above-average rainfall to fully recover. The District’s reliance on supplemental water through the drought resulted in water debt, which has yet to be fully repaid. Jameson Lake water quality remains affected by the drought and deliveries continue to be limited. It is expected to take several more years of above average rainfall for the District’s water supplies to fully recover. For more detailed information, please refer to the most recent quarterly water supply update or call us at 805.969.2271 to discuss.
What is the "WSE" surcharge that appears on my bill?
The Water Shortage Emergency (WSE) Surcharge was established with Resolution No. 2124 at a noticed public hearing on March 24, 2015 to fund unforeseen extraordinary expenses resulting from the drought.
When will the WSE Surcharge be dropped?
We expect that the WSE surcharge will be eliminated when a new rate structure is adopted.
As of July, 2019:
- A new rate study is underway. One of the District's objectives with the new rate setting process is to accommodate ongoing water shortage emergency costs and to eliminate the current water shortage emergency surcharge. Important considerations for the rate study include the cost of new initiatives for water supply reliability such as the pending Water Supply Agreement (Desal negotiations) with the City of Santa Barbara.
- MWD Rates themselves have not increased in approximately three years. In 2013 the Board adopted a five-year schedule of rate increases, but did not implement the final (2017) incremental increase. No increase is anticipated until the rate study is complete.
- Public noticing and public comment are an integral part of implementing a new rate structure, so customers will be notified as this process unfolds in the coming months.
How can I get a new meter / water service on a property that is currently without?
Montecito Water District is now ready to assist with your application for a new water meter. See the New Meters & CWSA's page for complete information on the meter application process:The District’s application process must be completed prior to the issuance of a new water meter for any property.
As a well user, do I need a backflow prevention assembly?
Yes. In order to prevent cross-connections, Federal and State regulations require that a backflow prevention assembly be installed on any property that has a public and private water supply, even if those two systems are not interconnected. The assembly must be installed at the District meter and the property owners are responsible for maintaining it in proper working condition.
What is the capital cost recovery fee?
The capital cost recovery fee represents a "share" of the existing water distribution system and facilities which have been designed for a limited number of service connections. This system has been paid for in part by the existing customer base. A capital cost fee is charged for additions to this system in order to have all customers equally invested, thereby ensuring proper maintenance and improvements.
What's the status on Recycled Water for MWD?
- A Recycled Water Feasibility Study completed at the end of 2018 identified potentially viable water reuse projects.
- The top recommended recycled water project was non-potable reuse (NPR) for large irrigation users with the option of indirect potable reuse (IPR) pending a hydrogeologic investigation of the Montecito Groundwater Basin.
- A Groundwater Augmentation Feasibility Analysis is underway to determine if the Montecito groundwater basin could receive injection of recycled water, and results are anticipated in 3-4 months.
- Montecito Water District (MWD) and wastewater treatment agency Montecito Sanitary District (MSD) are meeting monthly to facilitate collaboration on the implementation of water reuse / recycling.
- Meetings are public and posted on the District Calendar. For current information, visit the News Page.
- Have questions? Please contact us at 805.969.2271 to discuss.