MWD’s Water Conservation Specialist Retires 

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 8, 2023
Mike Clark kicks off his retirement with MWD employees at the Bella Vista Water Treatment Plant

Mike Clark has retired from the Montecito Water District, passing the baton to a new Water Conservation Specialist, Steven Cognac. Clark’s remarkable passion for drought-resilient gardening and water conservation inspired 18 years of service through some of the driest periods on record. Known community-wide for providing sincere and direct assistance to customers, Clark was named Citizen of the Year by the Montecito Association in 2022. 

“Mike Clark’s experience and enthusiastic personality are clearly irreplaceable,” says General Manager Nick Turner. “Clark was a trailblazer for community partnership in water use efficiency, work that remains high priority for the District. We’re excited to introduce a new face, Steven Cognac, and new tools such as the rebate program and smart meters, to further Clark’s efforts.”

The District’s rebate program provides reimbursements for water saving initiatives such as turf (lawn) removal, smart irrigation controllers, drip systems, and mulch. This encompasses several priority measures identified in the District’s long-term Water Use Efficiency Plan adopted in 2022. Smart meter implementation tops the list and will provide more timely water usage data and improve leak detection. After being delayed due to the pandemic-related semi-conductor chip shortage, the smart meter system is now fully operational and being tested internally with a plan for customer rollout in the coming months. Also in the works is the development of parcel-based water budgets. 

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.  

To learn more about rebates, water efficiency resources, and all things water visit

Steven Cognac (left) will take Mike Clark’s position as Water Conservation Specialist at Montecito Water District

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