This new funding augments $25 million already awarded to the County through voter-approved water bonds since 2007. The new funding will support both implementation and planning projects.
A planning grant of $555,000 will be utilized to update the County’s Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Plan written in 2006. A kick-off meeting for the IRWM Plan Update 2013 is scheduled for 2 p.m., Tuesday, December 6 in Buellton (for further info see link below). The updated IRWM Plan will allow the County to apply for future grant funding for water projects.
Another grant of $3.1 million will help implement seven water supply, water conservation, water quality, flood control, reclaimed water and ecosystem restoration projects. Those projects include the Lompoc Valley Leak Detection and Repair Project, City of Santa Maria Untreated Water Irrigation Project, City of Goleta San Jose Creek Capacity and Fish Passage Project, Central Coast Water Authority Infrastructure Improvement Project, Goleta Sanitary District Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade, City of Santa Maria Leak Watch Project, and City of Guadalupe Recycled Water Feasibility Study.
In 2008, through a competitive grant process under Proposition 50, the County of Santa Barbara was awarded $25 million. Fourteen countywide projects were wholly or partially funded under that grant, including projects in the City of Santa Maria, City of Guadalupe, New Cuyama, Lompoc/Vandenberg Village, City of Goleta, City of Santa Barbara and others.
IRWM planning has been led by the County of Santa Barbara Water Agency and supported by a broad stakeholder coalition. The stakeholder coalition includes water agencies, environmental and non-governmental organizations, cities, and special districts. This coalition has donated countless hours to planning, project selection, and grant applications successfully resulting in the award of over $28 million in grant funding.
The intent of the IRWM Program in Santa Barbara County is to promote and practice integrated regional water management strategies to ensure sustainable water uses, reliable water supplies, better water quality, environmental stewardship, efficient urban development, protection of agricultural and watershed awareness. More information on the IRWM Plan 2013 Kick-off meeting, the IRWM Plan, and Proposition 50 and 84 grants can be found at the County’s website http://www.countyofsb.org/pwd/pwwater.aspx?id=16852