Why are Santa Barbara Water Rates Still High?

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By an edhat reader

I find it curious that water rates are still where they were when we were in a severe drought. I called City Utilities about this and was told that we only did not have an additional rate increase in 2020 because of Covid19.
They also said that groundwater has not come back to where they want it and that they have to buy state water? Haven't they always bought state water?

Why can they not reduce rates with the proviso that they may be raised again if we go into a severe drought again?

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delconin Aug 25, 2020 08:52 AM
Why are Santa Barbara Water Rates Still High?

I own one 7 unit rental property and do appreciate the comments regarding how to conserve water.
My monthly bill averages over $500 (including small amount for landscaping)
I have another 4 unit property where there is almost no landscaping with bill averaging over $420/mth.
These figures are double what they were before the increases. I understand the cost for the meter, etc.
The City needs to be held accountable for where the increased revenue is going and how they are running the Utility business. I note that the current focus of City Council members is on how to help tenants be protected regarding tenant rights. This is fine BUT what about protecting all the tenants (who end up with higher rent due to higher expenses having to be met by landlords) AND protecting all the homeowners who still face very high water bills even when being environmentally conscious?

fewtile Aug 25, 2020 09:18 AM
Why are Santa Barbara Water Rates Still High?

Its a boondoggle. I understand we're renting the water-meter; why can't we just buy it outright? Sewer service charge? Gravity is free! Of my $142/ mo. water bill, about $30 is for the actual wet stuff.

SDP Aug 25, 2020 11:20 AM
Why are Santa Barbara Water Rates Still High?

WoW! That bill seems very high OP. I have a family of 3, and my water bill (water only - not trash) Jan-may was $44 (Tier 1). I have all garden on drip irrigation and high efficiency washer. In June-Oct it can double that to about $90 (Tier 1 & 2), but that's nowhere near $230! It sounds like you should check your irrigation system and check the controls too.

Think Aug 25, 2020 12:06 PM
Why are Santa Barbara Water Rates Still High?

Our water bills are high because of the drought. The City pays full cost for State Water even though they don"t receive their allotment due to drought. Desal is expensive but necessary due to drought. Recycled water is a small percent of the City's water portfolio because the State has not passed direct potable reuse.

RHS Aug 25, 2020 05:36 PM
Why are Santa Barbara Water Rates Still High?

Think--your "facts" all wet. CA is not in a drought. SWP supplies are good. We are not paying a premium for that water and it is a lot cheaper than desalinated stuff. Potable reuseable water has nothing to do with the use of desalinated water. Other places in CA are using recycled water by injecting into the basin and then pumping it out when safe but we are doing nothing like that. Ad nauseum.

LoveMySB Aug 26, 2020 08:40 AM
Why are Santa Barbara Water Rates Still High?

My theory is that they told us for months & months "Conserve, Conserve, Conserve" and since we did such a good job at conserving water the city was actually loosing money so in turn now that we have water (for now) they need to charge higher rates to recoup the money the city lost. We're screwed no matter what we do.


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