The Goleta Water District made a discreet retreat from a much
anticipated showdown with angry agricultural interests later this
month by dropping its proposal to sharply increase the rates
charged to agricultural customers who expand their water
consumption beyond their historical use. District officials argued
they were targeting McMansion owners and dilettante farmers who
abused their agricultural meters to water vast lawns for less than
the district’s actual cost. But many farmers contended the changes
would price them right out of business, and district officials were
bracing for a major showdown on March 24. Instead, the district
will conduct an exhaustive parcel-by-parcel inventory of water use,
and then decide what rate changes might be appropriate.


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