Montecito Water District officials are encouraging customers to engage in water conservancy measures following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s call for a 15% voluntary reduction in water use across the state as many counties, including Santa Barbara, are facing extreme drought conditions.
During the last spell of drought conditions, Montecito Water District customers reduced consumption by 56%, according to a news release from the organization.
However, consumption has risen steadily since December 2020, and officials are asking customers to once again reduce water consumption as the region enters another drought season.
“We are hopeful that the governor’s announcement will help our customers prioritize water efficiency,” Adam Kanold, the assistant general manager and engineering manager for the district, said in a statement. “We’ve been going full-throttle to bolster the District’s supplies and infrastructure. Now we’re asking community members to partner with us in taking a hard look at what they can do to avoid water waste.”
The water district has taken a number of actions to improve drought resilience since 2016. These measures include purchasing groundwater storage rights in the Semitropic Groundwater Banking and Exchange Program, establishing the Montecito Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency and creating a 50-year water supply agreement with city officials in Santa Barbara that includes access to the city’s desalination facility.
In addition to these measures, the district is pursuing a possible recycled water project that would focus on maximizing the use of available wastewater, according to a news release.
As the county enters a season of drought, Montecito Water District benefactors can track their water usage through “smart meters” that have been installed for all customers.
With the governor’s new request, Montecito Water District officials are asking customers to re-evaluate their water priorities. For some customers, this could mean improving irrigation methods or rethinking landscaping.
Customers interested in learning more about their water usage and methods to reduce consumption can schedule a free consultation with the District’s Conservation Specialist at montecitowater.com.