Reservoir Becomes Empty

By Montecito Journal   |   March 22, 2022

On Thursday morning (March 10, 2022) the reservoir on upper Hot Springs Road was empty so no water was going to the estates below. This was because the main pipe had been disconnected for days on end, and the hot springs water that normally flowed into the reservoir poured onto Hot Springs Trail. 

Will the water company declare bankruptcy due to the high cost of vandalism and Fish and Wildlife Department’s insistence on removing abandoned pipes? It’s time for the win-win solution of purchasing the water rights from the Montecito Creek Water Company.

Hot Springs Canyon has great historic importance. The Chumash used the hot springs for centuries. A Native American named Camacho lived halfway up Hot Springs Canyon in the early 1800s – he also enjoyed the springs. Then in the late 1850s Wilbur Curtiss was led to the springs by an elderly Indian – Curtiss subsequently purchased the land in order to establish the first hot springs resort. Other resorts followed. The 1964 Coyote Fire destroyed the remaining buildings.

It’s surprising a historic monument marker isn’t located by the ruins.

I spoke with a staff member from Supervisor Das Williams’ office. It’s clear the supervisor and other elected officials representing our area appreciate the historic importance of the canyon and springs. Hopefully, historic preservation and restoration funds or other funds can be acquired to purchase the water rights. This may be feasible as the most difficult hurdle was overcome in 2012, when the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County purchased the land for public use.

Maybe the entire canyon can be declared a monument. Hot Springs Trail could become a self-guided historical/ecological path with markers placed on the way. Chumash ceremonies could be held by the hot springs. There are many possibilities.

Bryan Rosen

Calling for Other Opinions

As a believer that the best in life is attained through “balance,” I wish the Journal would have regular opinion articles from more conservative writers in addition to the conclusions reached by for instance Rinaldo Brutoco, who believes Trump an autocrat, without offering any historical evidence of that during Trump’s presidential years, and that the unsubstantiated “planet is in peril” during this “climate crisis.” Or physicist Robert Bernstein advocating one world government without referring to the historical corruptness of powerful people on the top of anything, or his call for getting rid of carbon dioxide emissions, without also referring to the underpublicized reports of many climate scientists on the UN panel and elsewhere, who submit the first 100 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere account for 80% of their effect as a greenhouse gas, and further emissions have a very rapidly diminishing effect; etc. etc.


Roger Colley  


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