Tuesday, May 22 , 2018, 11:48 am | Partly Cloudy 63º


Lauren Hanson Announces Re-Election Bid for Goleta Water District Board

Lauren Hanson Click to view larger
Lauren Hanson

Goleta Water District Board President Lauren Hanson announced that she is running for re-election to the Goleta Water District Board of Directors.

"In my time in office at the Goleta Water District, I have worked with my colleagues to right a financially fragile institution. We have accomplished enormous improvements in every aspect of our operations while successfully navigating the most difficult drought in our lifetimes," Hanson said.

"With all of this, we are still able to charge the lowest water rates on the South Coast to virtually every customer category, including agriculture. These are some of the accomplishments I'm most proud of and that I'm running on."

Hanson was first elected to a seat on the Goleta Water District Board in 2008. That campaign was her first bid for public office and she came in first among five candidates. In 2012, she was unopposed for re-election.

Hanson joined a district that had almost no financial reserves, an inconsistent reputation with the community and virtually no planning documents to guide decisions. Things have changed.

Hanson cites District achievements that she and her board colleagues have championed:

— Early in the drought, the district adopted a Drought Contingency Plan that has allowed the district to move the community gradually from initial, suggested water cutbacks to the current Stage III mandatory use restrictions as the drought worsened.

— Following the guidelines of the voter-approved SAFE Ordinance, the District halted issuing new water allocations on October 1, 2014.

— A sophisticated supply-and- demand model, developed in-house, works on a rolling 24-month time frame and is updated weekly.

— Upgrades to the District's well system have allowed the District to smoothly incorporate the drought buffer stored in the groundwater basin as an increasingly important water source.

— Numerous conservation incentives and rebate programs are offered for each customer category, including free water check-ups. The district website, www.GoletaWater.com, gives all sorts of indoor and outdoor conservation tips. So do the district's Twitter feed and Facebook page.

Hanson highlights the remarkable efforts the Goleta Valley community has made to conserve water. The area has some of the lowest per person water consumption in the entire state.

"Every drop our community saves extends the supply for all of us here now. Conservation will remain hugely important as the rest of California catches up to what we're already doing," she said.

In looking to the future, Hanson is eager to move forward with the district's stormwater catchment planning and advanced recycled water treatment studies.

"These two programs are particularly exciting to me as we head into the sixth year of an epic drought. The district is preparing for a challenging climate future and these programs are part of our plan for sustainable, supplemental local water sources when other water sources become more iffy," she said.

Hanson was born and raised in Hawaii. She earned her undergraduate degree in economics from Yale and an MBA from Harvard. She is a long-time resident of the Eastern ​Goleta Valley and became a visible presence in the community when she was appointed to serve on the Eastern Goleta Valley Vision Committee in 2005.

She co-wrote the committee's vision document, which proposed a sustainable, "gentle on the earth" future for the area.

Early endorsers for Hanson's re-election include the Sierra Club, the SB Women's Political Committee, the Goodland Coalition, the Santa Barbara Democratic Party, Democratic Women of SB, all four of Hanson's Goleta Water District board colleagues, State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, Assemblymember/County Supervisor-elect Das Williams, Supervisors Janet Wolf and Doreen Farr, Supervisorial candidate Joan Hartmann, Goleta City Councilmember Paula Perotte, Goleta Council candidate Kyle Richards, and community leaders including 350 SB co-founder Becca Claassen, Susan Deacon, Gary Earle, Jill Dexter, Tish Gainey, Susan and George Grgich, Barb Kloos, Linda Krop, Art Ludwig, Barbara Massey, Terri Jo Ortega, George Relles, Anne Schowe, Bill Shelor, and Mary Whalen. This is a partial list; titles and​ affliliations are for I.D. purposes only.

"I feel very fortunate to have such broad support for my campaign. Our district delivers a lifeline service to the Goleta Valley community. Doing it well takes great dedication and more than just an interest in water, although that's vital. It also takes knowledge of a really complex array of policy and operational issues, and a clear-eyed determination to chart a sustainable course for our community," Hanson said. "I am eager to have the chance to continue doing this important work and I hope the community will want me to return for another term."

To learn more, please visit my website.


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