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Water Vision Santa Barbara


Planning and Adapting for Santa Barbara’s Water Future

On June 29, 2021, the City's Enhanced Urban Water Management Plan (EUWMP) was adopted by Council and submitted to the California Department of Water Resources for review. The EUWMP details the City’s water supply and management strategy for the next 30 years and includes an Adaptive Management Plan for flexible and responsive management of the City's water resources moving forward in an uncertain future.

Plan development, dubbed "Water Vision Santa Barbara," spanned nearly a year and a half and used a rigorous technical process and inclusive stakeholder engagement approach to create an equitable, resilient, environmentally-friendly plan that reflects the community’s values. The resulting plan outlines the City's proposed portfolio of water sources, and its approach to sustainably manage water long into the future.

The EUWMP sets a the vision for a water future that is:

  • RESILIENT to evolving risks and challenges.
  • DIVERSE to provide ample reliability in uncertain times.
  • AFFORDABLE to ensure equitable access to safe drinking water for our community.
  • ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY to protect our waterways, wildlife and ecosystems.
  • FORWARD-THINKING with cost-effective operations and adaptable technology.

The City is required to update its Urban Water Management Plan and submit it to DWR for review every 5 years. The Adaptive Management Plan included in the EUWMP allows the City to make sound decisions regarding the City’s water supplies as water demands increase and/or water supplies are limited. In the short term, the City evaluates its water supplies and demand annually in the spring and the fall in response to local hydrologic conditions, looking out 3 years. The EUWMP provides the backbone for the City’s long-term water supply strategy.