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Goleta Water District Bringing More Groundwater Wells Online to Boost Production

The Goleta Water District is depending on its groundwater wells to supply water throughout the drought and plans to almost double the number of wells and water production over the next three years.

This week, the district’s board of directors is expected to approve “pump tests” for four wells that haven’t been used since the early 1990s. Those four are scheduled to start operating by the end of the year and after that, Goleta Water plans to build two new wells, according to assistant general manager David Matson.

The Goleta Water District has seven groundwater wells operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week and the agency pumped out more than 3,450 acre-feet of water (1.1 billion gallons) in 2014, Matson said.

The eighth well, and largest producer, the San Antonio Well, had “sudden, unexpected failure” in the filtration system and will be down for about a month while the district makes emergency repairs.

Meanwhile, the agency has been using more water from Lake Cachuma to compensate for the loss of groundwater.

“Every day wells are not producing effectively, is a day we have to use surface water that we’re trying to store at this point,” Matson said.

It will boost the production amount over the next three years to keep up with demand as its surface water supplies dry up to nothing. Wells produced 453 acre-feet of water in March, which puts the agency on track to hit the 5,300 acre-foot quota expected for 2015, when San Antonio Well is repaired.

The agency will spend $15 million over the next five years to expand groundwater capacity and its systems for injection and monitoring. Matson said the district expects the groundwater wells to produce 6,500 to 6,700 acre-feet of water per year by 2017-18.

“That’s at the point where all water agencies in the state are looking at just able to meet basic health and safety needs,” Matson said.

Emergency repairs for the San Antonio Well will cost $65,778 and the four well pump tests for the Berkeley #2, Oak Grove #2, SB Corp Well and the Shirell Well will cost $308,772, according to district documents.

The well repairs and pump test contracts will be discussed at Tuesday’s Board of Directors meeting, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at district headquarters, 4699 Hollister Ave. 

Noozhawk news editor Giana Magnoli 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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