City of Santa Barbara and La Cumbre Mutual Water Company Celebrate the Commencement of Recycled Water Deliveries

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Today marks a significant milestone in our efforts to build water resiliency and reliability on the South Coast. As dry conditions continue, the City of Santa Barbara has initiated a 25-year agreement to provide surplus recycled water to the La Cumbre Mutual Water Company.

On March 1, 2022, a newly installed service connection will be opened to deliver recycled water to the La Cumbre County Club. This is the largest customer of the La Cumbre Mutual Water Company, primarily serving Hope Ranch and the Hope Ranch Annex area. The City has a history of using recycled water that spans over 30-years, being one of the first adopters of recycled water in California. The City’s recycled water has been used successfully for irrigation at over 50 sites throughout the City of Santa Barbara, including the majority of City parks, schools, and large landscape areas. Recycled water is also used for irrigation at both of the golf courses located in the City, the Santa Barbara Golf Club and the Montecito Country Club. 

The switch from potable water to recycled water for irrigation at the La Cumbre Country Club benefits water supplies for both agencies as they share a mutual groundwater basin. Reduced groundwater pumping from the basin for irrigation will allow more water storage to meet the drinking water needs of the community. “It is not often you can deliver on an agreement that represents a win on so many fronts: preserving limited drinking water supplies, limiting treated wastewater released to the ocean, maximizing the use of existing infrastructure, and reducing operating costs for City and La Cumbre Mutual Water Company customers. This agreement checks all the boxes for beneficial regional water supply cooperation,” said Joshua Haggmark, Water Resources Manager for the City.  

The foundations of the Recycled Water Supply Agreement came with careful consideration and planning, which relies upon surplus recycled water from the El Estero Water Resource Center to produce a local, rainfall-independent water supply source that is nearly 100% guaranteed. This Agreement represents a great stride forward in water supply reliability for the La Cumbre Mutual Water Company and ensures both agencies flexibility in essential resource management. Customers of both water suppliers can take comfort knowing this regional partnership improves water supply reliability while helping to control water costs. “The shareholders of the La Cumbre Mutual Water Company are pleased to join the City of Santa Barbara in completing this very exciting regional project,” added Mike Alvarado, General Manager of the La Cumbre Mutual Water Company. “By providing recycled water to one of our largest water consumers we are able to reduce demand and stress on our freshwater resources. This much-needed project is a testament of water agencies working together for the benefit of the community.”

The City of Santa Barbara and La Cumbre Mutual Water Company have been partners in significant water-related endeavors for years. The execution of the Recycled Water Agreement on February 2, 2021, and the commencement of the recycled water deliveries on March 1, 2022, are examples of good water stewardship and a partnership that will benefit our community and the environment for years to come.

City of Santa Barbara Contact: Joshua Haggmark, Water Resources Manager

Phone: 805-564-5393

Email: JHaggmark@SantaBarbaraCA.gov


La Cumbre Mutual Water Company Contact: Mike Alvarado, General Manager

Phone: 805-967-2376; ext. 115

Email: MAlvardo@LaCumbreWater.com


Photos of the valve opening ceremony will be accessible by noon on March 1, 2022 at: www.SantaBarbaraCA.gov/LaCumbreCeremonyPhotos