Montecito Water District’s Board of Directors held its regular monthly meeting this week as scheduled. The agenda included updates on the status of a Water Supply Agreement with the City of Santa Barbara and the Rate Study. “These projects remain on schedule to be completed and ready for Board consideration in June,” said General Manager Nick Turner. Proposed rates will be mailed to customers for review in mid-May, and include “desalination,” which refers to the cost of the pending 50-year Water Supply Agreement with the City of Santa Barbara.
The Board also reviewed a preliminary presentation on Future Demand and Water Supply Options prepared by Steve Bachman. Dr. Bachman is on contract with the District to prepare an update to the water supply report he completed in 2007. While many of the recommendations from the past plan have been implemented, the District’s current water supplies remain unreliable. This became evident during the recent historic drought that spanned from 2012 to 2018 and left the District nearly solely dependent upon the availability of supplemental water and the operation of the State Water Project facilities.
“Our constituents fully expect us to continue working on these critical initiatives. We were elected to do a job, and we must fulfill our obligations,” stated Director Cori Hayman at a meeting earlier this month. “If anything, current conditions show us that we must continue to move swiftly and put resilient plans in place for the District’s future water needs. This community knows that things can change overnight, and we must be prepared.”
MWD is conducting business as usual to the extent possible during the COVID-19 pandemic response. Customer service staff is available by phone and email during business hours (8 am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday), operations are regular, and repairs are still being made as needed. However, all major capital improvements are temporarily on hold. For example, “Smart Meter” installation began in January, 2020 and approximately half of the meters in the District were upgraded before the project was halted in mid-March due to the coronavirus. Customers will be notified as soon as these projects resume.
All Board Meetings are open to the public and accessible by teleconference. More information can be found in the Agendas and Packets menu available on the Water District’s web site: www.montecitowater.com. Meeting times are posted to the online District Calendar and participation is encouraged. For assistance please contact call (805) 969-2271 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.