Grand Jury Investigates Cachuma Water Project
Photo: Patti Gutshall
Source: Santa Barbara County Grand Jury
Few issues are more important to the residents of Santa Barbara County than Water. In reviewing prospects for the upcoming Contract for the Cachuma Project, due in 2020, the Santa Barbara County Grand Jury (Jury) recommends that the 1995 contract needs far more than revision.
Its coverage is outdated and does not address the challenges of the future, especially the likely disruptions due to climate change. Its different technical terms can mean the same thing, and a single technical term can have several meanings. The Jury recommends revising outdated provisions every 5 years.
The Jury recommends that, unlike in the past, the County Water Agency and the 5 Water Districts should speak with one voice to the Bureau of Reclamation, especially in regard to the amounts of water to be diverted to the Districts each year. Regular meetings of their technical staffs could alleviate disagreements.
The Jury recommends that local agencies combine to create a website which covers the essentials about the Cachuma Project and gives links to more specialized material.
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The entire report, "The Cachuma Project: Contract and Management" can be found here.