Montecito Water District’s Quarterly Update, October 2019
- RATES: Several members of the public attended this month’s regularly scheduled Board meeting to provide public comment on potential future rate increases. Rates have not increased since 2016 and a new rate study designed to include the costs of current initiatives, such as a potential long-term water supply agreement with the City of Santa Barbara, is ongoing with draft rates expected later in 2019. At this time, the Board has not yet reviewed any new rate data. The Finance committee and staff received a preliminary progress report on the rate study earlier this month and requested further analysis and modeling. Any proposed new rate structure will be publicly discussed and reviewed by the entire Board of Directors prior to adoption.
The public is encouraged to attend meetings and to learn more about MWD’s current water supply strategies. Agendas, Packets, and Minutes can be found on the District’s web site: montecitowater.com. Meeting times are posted to the online District Calendar, and questions can be directed to 805.969.2271 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- FACILITIES: MWD is prepared for Southern California Edison’s potential Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS). All critical District facilities are equipped with emergency backup power, which is used during power outages to provide uninterrupted water service. Customers with private booster pumps or other water features which require electricity will need to plan accordingly to meet their needs.
- WATER SUPPLY OUTLOOK: The October 2019 Quarterly Water Supply Update is now available online at montecitowater.com. Projected water supply use for 2019 is much more in-line with the District’s historical usage, as illustrated by this comparison chart which shows the heavy reliance on State Water Project deliveries in 2018 due to the drought and a shortage of local surface supplies.
- RECYCLED WATER / WATER REUSE: GSI Water Solutions presented findings for the Groundwater Augmentation Feasibility Study. Initiated as part of the Recycled Water Facilities Plan, the study indicates that the feasibility of indirect potable reuse in the Montecito Groundwater Basin is limited. A 3-D model of the basin created using data from multiple sources, including Montecito Water District, Santa Barbara County, Department of Water Resources and past groundwater basin studies, reveals numerous challenges to injecting treated wastewater into the Basin. Limiting factors include relatively shallow groundwater, poor hydrogeology, low injection and extraction rates and a high density of existing wells. The presentation was informational only, and no action was taken by the Board.
- DESALINATION: A 50-year water supply agreement guaranteeing annual water deliveries from the City of Santa Barbara has been negotiated and next steps include finalizing a draft agreement, public review and comment, and approval by vote of each governing body, with completion targeted around March/April 2020.
- GROUNDWATER: The Montecito Groundwater Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) is holding regular quarterly meetings. The next meeting is scheduled for January. More information can be found at montecitogsa.com. Well owners and other interested stakeholders are encouraged to get involved and can sign up for the GSA email updates online or by calling 805.969.2271.
Founded in 1921, The Montecito Water District serves a population of approximately 13,100, providing water to more than 4,600 customers. The 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 www.montecitowater.com.