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Montecito water district agrees to connect with Santa Barbara for 50-year supply line

Desalination plant
KEYT
The Santa Barbara desalination plant will be used to help the Montecito Water district with its 50-year plan for reliable water supplies. (Photo: KEYT)
Desalination plant
KEYT
The Santa Barbara desalination plant will be used to help the Montecito Water district with its 50-year plan for reliable water supplies. (Photo: KEYT)
Desalination plant
KEYT photo
The Santa Barbara desalination plant will be used to help the Montecito Water district with its 50-year plan for reliable water supplies. (Photo: KEYT)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - After years of crunching the numbers and looking at options for reliable water supplies, the Montectio Water District is connecting to nearby Santa Barbara as part of its "drought-proof" plan.

The Santa Barbara City Council will hear the details Tuesday.

It involves a multi-phased agreement to insure an adequate supply of water for Montecito which, like other South Coast communities, saw its storage and delivery options dry up a few years ago after a prolonged period of little or now rain.

Supplies are current very solid with underground well recharged by recent rains and Cachuma Lake, the main storage area for the South Coast, currently at 78 percent capacity. Gibraltar reservoir up stream is at 79 percent.

RELATED STORY: Montecito Water signs up for 50-year water supply.

The agreement involves pipeline improvements in Santa Barbara.

Some of the funding will be coming from a settlement with Southern California Edison due to impacts from the Thomas Fire on the Gibraltar reservoir. There will also be funding from a $1-million grant from the Department of Water Resources specifically for the essential conveyance pipeline to provide reliable water supplies.

In years where there's extreme drought or a catastrophe impacting water supplies, the agreement calls for both Santa Barbara and Montecito to use the water the supply provides, for the most critical needs.

The full city council report can be viewed here : Montecito water district agreement with Santa Barbara

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT NewsChannel 3 and KCOY 12 Central Coast News.