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Santa Barbara Water Concerns

April 4th, 2014 · No Comments · Mark Lomas and Kirsten Wolfe, Montecito Real Estate, Santa Barbara Real Estate

In early March the Montecito Journal reported that the Montecito Water District (MWD) unanimously approved a declaration of emergency water shortage – Ordinance 92- on February 11th, mandating no new water connections, plus restrictions on pools, hosing of hard surfaces, home car washes, and correction of leaks, plus fines of up to $1000 for repeated violations.

Although the Board did its job – some suggest belately – the “Community Perception” is that there is precious little sympathy in the greater Santa Barbara community for Montecito’s predicament.  The  lushly landscaped estates, surrounded by stone walls, gardens, hedges, and greenery have defined Montecito for the last 100 years, but are seen as non-essential to many.

DESALINATION?  In 1992, faced with a five year drought, the City of Santa Barbara completed a $34 million dollar seawater desalination plant.  With abundant rainfall in 1991-93 the plant was put on standby. In 1997, Montecito and Goleta opted out of the project and the City sold the plants membranes to Saudi Arabia reducing it’s maitenence costs.  Currently, desalination is not viewed by the City of Santa Barbara Water Resources as a planned source of water, but simply as an extreme emergency drought supply backup.

An expenditure of $17 to $20 million  would be needed to re-activate the desalination facility in Santa Barbara, including new state of the art membranes, and other components that need to be updated.

Mark Lomas and Kirsten Wolfe


Santa Barbara Realtors

Montecito Realtors

Hope Ranch Realtors


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