Thursday, November 15 , 2018, 4:55 am | Fair 45º

 
 
 
 

Santa Barbara May Sell Recycled Water to La Cumbre Mutual Water Company

The city of Santa Barbara will move forward with negotiations to sell recycled water to a small water company on the South Coast.

The La Cumbre Mutual Water Company has asked to buy about 150 acre-feet of recycled water from the city, a supply that would primarily be used to irrigate the La Cumbre Country Club Golf Course.

The company serves about 1,400 customers and was formed to serve water to land owners in Hope Ranch and the area between Hollister Avenue and Hope Ranch.

If the drought continues this year, the company will have to adopt stage three drought conditions in June, which would eliminate water for landscaping.

On Tuesday, the Santa Barbara’s City Council voted unanimously to proceed with talks about the sale, which was solicited by La Cumbre staff in December. 

The city can produce about 300 acre-feet of recycled water with the current system, according to Joshua Haggmark, water resources manager for the city.

“Looking at our demand, we don’t anticipate needing all of that,” he said.

Though the company is technically located within the Goleta Water District, GWD’s recycled water facility is several miles away while the city’s hookup is about 1,500 feet away, Haggmark said

Recycled water is expensive, primarily because it has a small customer base and is subject to strict oversight and regulations since it isn’t potable.  

The city could stand to make some money in the exchange, in addition to the company freeing up potable water for other sources.

La Cumbre Mutual Water Company would still need work out a host of issues, including any buy-in fees the company would need to pay and full cost recovery for the recycled water, according to the city.

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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