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WATER TORTURE: With Lake Cachuma lower than it’s ever been, tensions between the water agencies relying on it have hit the breaking point. Adding to the pressure, S.B. city officials announced the start-up date for the desalination plant could be pushed back by as much as two months, coupled with cost overruns approximating $8 million. The culprits are contaminated soil — 12,700 cubic yards’ worth — and ancient electrical equipment that “exploded” upon testing.

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