Montecito Water District suspends consumption penalties

Effective immediately

MONTECITO, Calif. - The Montecito Water District’s Board of Directors unanimously accepted a staff recommendation to suspend enforcement of penalties for excessive water consumption.

Penalties were immediately suspended following the board meeting.

The penalties were put in place to discourage overconsumption of water during the historic California drought. 

2012 through 2016 proved to be the five driest consecutive years on record, according to the Montecito Water District.

Since October 2016, Santa Barbara County has seen 30 inches of rain, revitalizing the watershed and adding significant volume to Jameson Lake and Lake Cachuma.

A preliminary analysis showed that the Montecito Water District has sufficient water supplies to meet customer water demand for the next three years, assuming an ongoing critical drought scenario and customer conservation of approximately 30 percent.

In a press release, Montecito Water District General Manager Nick Turner said, “Ongoing conservation is essential, and the District will be closely monitoring customer consumption... Changes in behavior and landscaping have been tremendous, and need to be ongoing. We are optimistic that the community understands the necessity of permanently reducing usage."

Staff will return to the Water Board in the next 60 days to determine if additional actions regarding amending, suspending or terminating Water Shortage Emergency ordinances are warranted.

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