The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors has directed the County Water Agency to undertake a study of local water supply options available now and into the future.

The scope of the report will include evaluation of the feasibility, reliability and cost of multiple water supply options, including recycled water, desalination, reservoir desilting or modification, additional surface water storage, groundwater recharge or banking, non-local supplies, State Water Project options and water transfers, among others.

The study is not intended to solve the current drought but to provide a tool to evaluate local and regional alternatives to ensure adequate water for the future.

“Decades ago planners looked forward at water issues and secured supplies that have made our environment and standard of living what it is today. It’s our responsibility as water planners to do the same for the years ahead,” said Thomas Fayram, deputy director of Public Works.

The county has contracted with RMC Water and Environment as consultants to conduct the study and assist with stakeholder outreach and formation of a Planning Partners group. It is anticipated that the project will take approximately one year to complete.

The Water Agency and RMC will be hosting two public meetings to explain the project and solicit public ideas and feedback. The meeting dates are scheduled for Monday, Sept. 29 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the County Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 511 E. Lakeside Pkwy. in Santa Maria, and from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30 at the County Planning Commission Hearing Room, 123 E. Anapamu St. in Santa Barbara.

The study is an important piece of the Water Agency mission to respond to current drought conditions, study existing water supplies, and prepare for water supply and demand into the future.

Click here for more information on the project, public meetings or to submit a water supply suggestions form.