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Santa Barbara County Awarded $3.6 Million in State Grants for Water Projects

Part of the funding will go toward updating the Integrated Regional Water Management Plan, with the rest divided among seven local projects

Santa Barbara County was recently awarded more than $3.6 million in state grants for local water projects, according to a statement released Monday by the county Public Works Department.

Of the two grants from the California Department of Water Resources, $500,000 will go toward updating the county’s Integrated Regional Water Management Plan written in 2006. A kickoff meeting for the plan update is scheduled for 2 p.m. Dec. 6 in Buellton.

“The updated IRWM Plan will allow the county to apply for future grant funding for water projects,” the statement said.

A stakeholder group of water agencies, environmental and nongovernmental organizations, cities and special districts have been involved in crafting the plan. The planning has been led by the Santa Barbara County Water Agency.

“The intent of the IRWM Program in Santa Barbara County is to promote and practice integrated regional water management strategies to ensure sustainable water uses, reliable water supplies,
better water quality, environmental stewardship, efficient urban development, protection of agricultural and watershed awareness,” according to the statement.

Another $3.1 million grant will be divided among seven other water projects. Those projects include the Lompoc Valley Leak Detection and Repair Project, the City of Santa Maria Untreated Water Irrigation Project, the City of Goleta San Jose Creek Capacity Improvement & Fish Passage Project, the Central Coast Water Authority Infrastructure Improvement Project, the Goleta Sanitary District Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade, the City of Santa Maria Leak Watch Project and the City of Guadalupe Recycled Water Feasibility Study.

“This new funding augments $25 million already awarded to the county through voter-approved water bonds since 2007,” the statement said.

For more information on the IRWM Plan or the kickoff meeting, click here or call Water Agency manager Matt Naftaly at 805.568.3542.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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