Tag archives: drought

Montecito Residents Win WaterWise Garden Recognition 
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   October 4, 2022

Water-efficient residential gardens are beautiful, and earlier this month, Montecito residents John and Teri Keating were awarded the grand prize winner for their native garden. The 2022 WaterWise Garden Recognition Contest launched this spring to recognize beautiful, water-efficient residential gardens throughout Santa Barbara County. The Santa Barbara County Water Agency and participating local water providers […]

Water Use Warning
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   October 4, 2022

In an effort to get an urgent and important message to the Montecito community, Montecito Water District (MWD) installed a road sign last week at the triangle on Olive Mill Road and Hot Springs with the rotating message: “Extreme Drought, Reduce Irrigation.” The goal is to get customers’ attention so that they will reduce water […]

Has the County Lost Its Mind?
By Sharon Byrne   |   July 5, 2022

We work a lot with the county, from sheriffs to Public Works to Flood Control to Zoning. Normally, the relationship is pretty good. The county is usually responsive, and our community benefits from working closely with our government.  But our county is doing something we don’t understand at all. Apparently, neither do the judges. You’ve […]

New Water Conservation Mandates
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   June 21, 2022

At a board meeting last week, the Montecito Water District (MWD) Board of Directors adopted an updated drought ordinance after regulations were put forth by the State of California. This new drought ordinance (Ordinance 97) replaces Ordinance 96, which includes the District’s current water conservation requirements.  Ordinance 96 conservation requirements are still in effect, and […]

Drought Compels Changes for Well Permits
By Sharon Byrne   |   May 31, 2022

Things are heating up on the drought front in California. In July 2021, Governor Newsom issued a drought emergency and asked for voluntary water use reductions of 15%. It didn’t happen. At the end of March 2022, Newsom issued an executive order calling on local water agencies to escalate their response to the ongoing drought.  […]

Living in Unprecedented Times: Water in Montecito
By Sharon Byrne   |   May 10, 2022

Last week, the Metropolitan Water District of Los Angeles ordered outdoor water usage to be restricted to one day per week, starting June 1. This order affects six million people in Los Angeles, San Gabriel Valley, San Fernando, San Bernardino, and southern Ventura County. All outdoor watering in these areas could be banned by September […]

Shaping the Future of Water for California’s Central Coast
By Bob Hazard   |   October 12, 2021

Bringing an end to California’s cycle of dependence on imported water and surface reservoirs will require that we increase reliable local supplies of potable water that are independent of rainfall, and that we decrease our demand for water through continued conservation. In order to drought-proof California’s Central Coast over the long term, we need to […]

Western Rivers, the Salton Sea & Us Bill Maher is right on this one
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   October 12, 2021

Last week’s column (September 30) dealt with Santa Barbara’s worsening water shortage issues – August was the driest year in the last 127 years for which we have good records! All 423,895 of us in Santa Barbara County moved past “Extreme” drought to the worst of the National Weather Service’s five categories of drought: “Exceptional.” […]

What Can California Learn From Israel About Water Management?
By Bob Hazard   |   October 5, 2021

Israel is located in one of the driest regions of the world and has traditionally suffered from a scarcity of freshwater resources. Despite that challenge, it is now considered “the best nation in the world for water efficiency” according to Global Water Intelligence, an international water industry publisher. In fewer than 20 years, this parched […]

Water, Water… and Not a Drop to Drink Santa Barbara’s Solution
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   October 5, 2021

You may recall the 18th century poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It is an incredible story of one man’s abuse of nature causing devastation all around him. In the tale, the Ancient Mariner is the navigator of the vessel on which he sailed, and after some misadventures, his ship […]

The “Methane Accelerator” Climate Change is Moving Past the Tipping Point
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   September 21, 2021

The latest August 2021 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) identifies methane as one of the worst greenhouse gases contributing to climate change. This IPCC report is one of many signs that climate change is accelerating, and already producing considerably graver impacts than has been forecasted by all the leading scientific consensus […]

Will Montecito Run Out of Water?
By Bob Hazard   |   September 21, 2021

As of mid-September, 50 out of the 58 California counties are reporting either “extreme” or “exceptional” drought status. Montecito falls into the “extreme drought” category. While Montecito’s water supply appears secure for the next three years, all bets are off if continued drought becomes the new norm, or if Montecito Water District (MWD) customers are […]

Assuring a Wet Future for California
By Bob Hazard   |   September 14, 2021

Lack of potable water is a more serious problem than COVID-19. Without water the average person dies within three days. A horse can go five days without water; a camel 10 days; plants can survive two to three weeks. Without water, all life perishes. Water makes up more than 70% of the Earth’s surface; the […]

MWD Urges Reduced Water Usage
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 19, 2021

At a Montecito Association Board of Directors meeting earlier this week, Montecito Water District general manager Nick Turner reported that intensifying drought conditions and increased water usage by district customers has prompted a request from the district that all residents reduce their water usage.  “Over the last five years the board has been dedicated to […]

Worried About Drought? Wells? We Are Too. Come To Our Next Board Meeting.
By Sharon Byrne   |   August 12, 2021

If you’re new to Montecito and California, you’ll want to pay extra attention right now. Wildfires are burning presently in Greece, Italy, Turkey, British Columbia, and of course, here in California. The Dixie Fire has now burned 249,000 acres. It ranks No. 11, as of today, in largest California wildfires in history. The Thomas Fire, […]

Well-Meaning Handouts Not Aiding Homelessness Efforts
By Montecito Journal   |   August 5, 2021

The following is an open letter to the Coast Village Association and the property owners of the Country Mart and Starbucks strip:  We need you to step up now and help your businesses and customers stop enabling homelessness. Help us solve it instead.   We are writing to you as Montecito residents and founding members of […]

Death and Taxes! Goodbye Lloyd’s of London
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   July 29, 2021

A common refrain that has echoed around American society for the last 70 years or so goes like this: “Nothing in life is certain, except death and taxes!” Cute, and up until recently a truism that could be counted on. No longer. It turns out there is one other thing that is certain, is inescapable, […]

Drought Claims Beloved Pickle Tree
By Scott Craig   |   July 15, 2021

Long before Westmont founder Ruth Kerr decided to move the burgeoning college to the former Dwight Murphy Estate in Montecito, the grounds featured a wide array of mature trees. Today, many overarching trees still provide shade for walkways serenely wending their way through campus. One soaring redwood tree on Kerrwood Lawn was well-known for its […]

Plan to Shoot Off Fireworks? Enjoy Some Sparklers? Just Don’t Do It.
By Christina Atchison   |   July 8, 2021

It’s America’s birthday party and what could be more celebratory than shooting off fireworks?! But no one will be celebrating if those fireworks spark a fire. Fourth of July in Montecito is a celebration of our great nation’s independence and, our community’s independence from all fireworks.  The manufacturing, storage, sale, handling, and use of all […]

MWD Urges Customers to Conserve Water
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 8, 2021

With climate change and potential severity of future droughts unknown, voluntary conservation continues to be an essential component for water supply planning locally and statewide. Historically, Montecito Water District customers have been able to reduce demands when necessary. In 2009, SBX7-7 set a requirement for urban water suppliers to reduce demands 20% by 2020. The […]