Montecito GSA Meeting

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   October 11, 2022
San Ysidro Creek contributes to water supply in the Montecito Groundwater Basin

The Montecito Groundwater Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency (Montecito GSA or Agency) will meet for its quarterly Board Meeting on Tuesday, October 11 at 9:30 am. Topics of discussion will include projects and actions which may be included in the Groundwater Sustainability Plan now and in the future. The meeting will be held in person at 583 San Ysidro Road, and may also be attended remotely using the teleconferencing information which will be posted on the agenda online at

Locally, groundwater is heavily relied on for local residential, commercial, and agricultural use, particularly during periods of drought. The Montecito Groundwater Basin supplies water for numerous public and private wells, and the Montecito GSA’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. The Agency is tasked with preparing the State’s required Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) for the Montecito Groundwater Basin, which includes determining ways to avoid undesirable results that may occur without proper stewardship of the basin, such as seawater intrusion, lowering groundwater levels, or depletion of groundwater storage. Data collection and increasing participation from private well owners and the public at large are priorities
for the Agency. 

To date, the Agency has completed a draft version of Chapter 2, Plan Area and Basin Setting, providing a detailed description of the administrative and technical characteristics of the Montecito Basin. Chapter 2 has been reviewed during several Committee and Board meetings and is available on the Agency website for public review. Content for Chapter 3, Sustainable Management Criteria, has been reviewed at Committee and Board meetings, and the resulting draft will be posted as soon as it is complete. Initial findings, based on the limited available data, indicate that the Montecito Groundwater Basin is in a generally healthy condition, with no known undesirable results occurring at this time. 

Chapter 4, Projects and Management Actions to Achieve Sustainability Goal, is the focus of the upcoming Board meeting. Agency staff worked with consultants to develop a draft list of Project and Management Actions that has been shared with advisory committees for their review. The Board will be reviewing consultant and staff recommendations along with input from advisory committees and the public when determining which projects and management actions to include in the GSP.  

To learn more about the Montecito GSA visit

Recent Crime in Montecito

Sheriff’s detectives are investigating the death of a 32-year-old woman that occurred last Thursday, September 29, at 5:35 am. Santa Barbara County Sheriff Deputies were dispatched to the 800-block of East Mountain Drive for a report of woman heard screaming. The victim was later identified as Blanca Aguilera of Oxnard. When deputies arrived, they found Aguilera seriously injured, lying in the roadway. The vehicle that struck her had fled the area prior to deputies’ arrival. She was transported to an area hospital where she died of her injuries at approximately 7:45 pm. 

According to Public Information Officer Raquel Zick, detectives believe Aguilera was intentionally struck by the driver of the vehicle and they are investigating this as a homicide. According to reports, Sheriff’s detectives know the identity of the suspect, who remains outstanding. The suspect and the victim were known to each other, and this is not a random attack.

According to social media reports, the woman was a single mother to three young children. 

Sheriff’s detectives are also investigating an assault with a deadly weapon where the victim sustained serious injuries; the crime took place on Monday, October 3, at approximately 10:07 pm. Deputies responded with fire and medics to the 900 block of Channel Drive for a report of a medical emergency for an assault that had just occurred. Sheriff’s deputies and emergency call-takers spent approximately 20 minutes coordinating efforts to locate the victim amongst homeless encampments. Deputies eventually located the adult male victim who had serious injuries to the upper torso. Deputies connected the victim with medics who transported him to an area hospital with serious injuries. 

Sheriff’s detectives have been assigned to investigate this assault. The suspect remains outstanding, and the victim is expected to recover. 

Anyone with information that would assist investigators in either case is asked to please contact the Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division by calling (805) 681- 4150. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you can provide information by calling the tip line at (805) 681-4171 or online at


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