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Contact Information

Water Resources Division, WaterResources@SantaBarbaraCA.gov


Water Commission

The City Council created a City Water Commission headed by Eugene Sheffield in 1900 to administer water services. Since that time, the City has constructed and operated Gibraltar Dam and Mission Tunnel; is a major user of water from Lake Cachuma; has drilled and operates a number of water wells and treatment plants; has constructed a recycled water system and desalination facility; participates in the State Water Project, operates a comprehensive water conservation program; and has constructed and operates an extensive wastewater collection, treatment, and ocean-discharge system. The City's diverse water supply system reflects the potential for periodic extended drought conditions in Santa Barbara.

The Water Resources Division is responsible for managing the City’s water supply, and operating and maintaining the water and wastewater systems.

General Functions

Advise the City Council regarding the following:

  • Advise the City Council regarding management, extension and operation of the Water Resources Division and water and wastewater facilities of the City, including the development, production, distribution and use and reuse of water, the construction, improvement, installation, maintenance and operation of all reservoirs, wastewater collection system, wastewater treatment plant, structures, equipment, utilities, appliances and facilities relating to the Water Resources Division.
  • Recommend to City Council plans, rules and regulations pertaining to the above, including fixing rates, charges or other payments.
  • Consider the annual Water Resources budget and make recommendations to the City Council and City Administrator.
  • Recommend to City Council desirable qualifications and duties of the head of the Water Resources Division.
  • Recommend to City Council regarding acquisition, disposition or repair of facilities, equipment and supplies relating to the Water Resources Division or water system and wastewater systems.

Commission Functions


5 Members


Must be qualified electors of the City.

Meeting Schedule

The Commission meets on the third Thursday of each month at 9:00 a.m. in the David Gebhard Public Meeting Room which is located at 630 Garden Street (please enter at the side entrance by the parking lot).

Time Involved

Approximately 4 hours per month for meetings and related activities.

Financial Disclosure Requirement

Members must file a Statement of Economic Interests upon appointment, annually and when leaving the advisory group.

Ethics Training Requirement

The City of Santa Barbara requires members of this commission to take City ethics training within one year after member is appointed or reappointed.  




Water Resources Division, Public Works Department, (805) 564-5393.


City Charter Sections 800 - 805, and 813; Municipal Code Sections 2.08.020.K and 14.06.010; Resolution No. 95-158