Latest News from Montecito Water District

New Year, New Meters, New Notifications

...and More!


Jameson Lake, December 26, 2019. Photo Credit: Alan Prichard, Dam Caretaker


New Meters


As communicated through recent inserts with customer invoices, the meter replacement program began in January with the assistance of Concord Utility Services. Every meter in the District (approximately 4,600 in total!) will be replaced during this much needed upgrade. The installation work is scheduled to occur quickly, with an estimated completion date of late June.


Note: Residents do not need to be home during this service. Water service will be interrupted for approximately one hour or less when work is being conducted: Monday - Friday, between the hours of 8am - 4pm. 


We are notifying customers weekly regarding the replacement schedule. You may receive multiple communications if you own multiple properties or if an installation is re-scheduled for a later week.


We anticipate that the "smart" aspect of the meters will be fully operational by the end of the year, subject to county permit approvals. Modernizing water meters will help customers and MWD better manage water resources.  When fully implemented, the smart meters will provide more accurate flow monitoring and timely reporting of usage. Early detection of leaks and a reduction in unintended water loss are just a few of the benefits.  


Thank you for your understanding during this important process. Please call us at 805.969.2271 with questions or if you require special accomodations.



New Notification System


For the Meter Replacement Program, Montecito Water District has begun using a secure electronic notification system to notify customers by phone and email regarding the timing of water meter replacements.


The notification system may also be used for other communications with customers, for example regarding matters related to individual water district accounts or in the event of a planned or unplanned water shutoff.

Any customer wishing not to receive these notifications may opt out at any time by contacting the District. For more information or to update your contact information please call customer service at 805.969.2271, Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm.


Rate Study Update


Last week the Board of Directors held a special meeting with representatives from Raftelis Financial Consultants who have been retained to complete the rate study.


The Board has neither approved nor agreed to any rates. The timeline shared at the meeting indicated that a proposed rate structure could be available for review later this spring. Rates have not increased since 2016, and while it can be anticipated that rates may increase somewhat, Board members continue to clearly state that any increase is expected to have a direct correlation to providing local and reliable supplies for the long-term.


At last week's meeting, Directors confirmed important objectives for the rate study, including:

1) Minimize rate impacts and annual increases

2) Promote water efficiency

3) Develop equitable rates across customer classes


Predictability, resilience, and reliability at a reasonable cost was the over-riding message, as the Board of Directors reiterated their commitment to a proactive water supply strategy and plan. 


So we won't be as vulnerable as we were during the last drought, the District is taking definitive actions to reduce its reliance on rainfall dependent sources. Examples include groundwater banking, which secures the ongoing investment in the State Water Project, agreement on terms for a long-term water supply contract with the City of Santa Barbara which would give the District the security of Desalination, and steady progress on implementing water reuse/recycling at meaningful volumes.


There are numerous factors to consider as the District plans for future water supply, including climate change, the severity of the recent drought, compromised capacity in Lake Cachuma and Jameson Lake due to the impacts of the Whittier and Thomas Fires, and the likelihood that in the future it may be more difficult to buy water on the spot market - the District's "go-to" source during prior droughts. Through a series of meetings, Board and staff have been rigorously reviewing risks, costs, and benefits of water supply alternatives in order to develop a sound plan that will meet the District's needs for both reliability and affordability.


The public will continue to be notified about rate study developments, and is reminded that there will be a public review and input period prior to any rates being adopted.


Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA)


 A Public Meeting will be held Monday, February 24, 5:00pm

 at Montecito Union School, 385 San Ysidro Road, 93108




The Montecito Groundwater Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency’s

mission is to ensure a reliable and sustainable groundwater supply

for the community through effective basin management

pursuant to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.






For further information on any of the topics above please call 805.969.2271, contact

or visit the web site




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, like Montecito Water District on Facebook, and follow on twitter @MontecitoWater.


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583 San Ysidro Road, Montecito, CA 93108-2124 • 805.969.2271 • email:
BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Floyd Wicks, President | Tobe Plough, Vice President
Ken Coates, Director | Cori Hayman, Director | Brian Goebel, Director
General Manager and Board Secretary: Nick Turner