The Montecito Water District is set to be drought-proof by the summer, the district announced Monday.
The progress is due to desalination and new rates, which the district’s board of directors received a status report on as well as a water supply agreement with the city of Santa Barbara during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday.
“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 WSA with the city of Santa Barbara, according to the district’s news release.
The board also received a presentation on future demand and water supply options prepared by Dr. Steve Bachman, who is on contract with the district to prepare an update to the water supply report he completed in 2007. Many of his recommendations have been implemented, however the recent historic drought revealed the district’s current water supplies remain unreliable.
With the rainfall the area received in early April, Jameson Lake reached 100% capacity, the district reported. While Jameson Lake is full, the district is resting its wells to support groundwater recharge, and moving forward with plans to diversify its water portfolio and ensure the community’s future water needs will be met.
However, with the coronavirus pandemic, all major capital improvements are temporarily on hold, including “Smart Meter” installation. Customers will be notified as soon as these projects resume, according to the news-release.
“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.”