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Summary of October 18 Public Information Meeting on Desalination and Water Supply

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As we approach what could be a sixth year of drought, the District updated customers on progress on desalination, and also on the actions it has taken to maintain water supplies during drought.

Continued Progress with City on Desalination Negotiations

The District continues making progress toward an agreement with the City of Santa Barbara to purchase desalinated water. Desalination could provide a drought-proof supply to protect our community. However, it is costly and will require long-term agreements, so both the City and District have been carefully working through every potential issue. While this is time consuming, it is critical to get the details right in order to arrive at a mutually beneficial and fair agreement. Details about issues already agreed upon and those that remain to be settled were discussed in detail at the October 18, public information meeting.

Water Supply Update: Despite Water Supply Successes, Monthly Allocations Must Remain in Effect.

The District can provide enough water to meet current customer water use levels into 2020, even if the drought continues. Here’s how:

Montecito Water District has maximized existing and supplemental supplies through a variety of actions, most notably, by successfully purchasing large amounts of supplemental water in a very competitive market. But local lakes are nearly empty, groundwater is diminishing, and the substantial volume of imported supplemental supplies cannot be brought in any faster due to size limits on the imported water pipeline. As a result, monthly allocations and conservation must remain in effect.

However, the District is working to develop new local sources: desalination and recycled water. And the current allocations will be reduced or eliminated as soon as these planned new local sources are available and/or significant rainfall fills local lakes.

For more information, see the presentations from the October 18 public information meeting below.

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