Where’s the Water?

The recent Zoom meeting with mayoral candidates really causes me to despair due to the general acceptance that (1) new housing must be built in Santa Barbara; (2) the problem of increased traffic can be denied or dismissed as being solvable through “smart planning,” with no examples of how even a single project with, say, 40 units would not increase traffic; and (3) the “the elephant in the room” — water.

You can modify height and density requirements to fit in more housing, and you can wish away the inherent parking and traffic problems, but you cannot tell renters they can’t use water. Water is a problem that cannot be legislated away. We live in an ongoing drought. From the beginning, the state told us they were never going to be able to supply all the State Water we were paying for, so that is not the answer. The desal plant is running, but I doubt it will be able to supply the demand created by new housing.

Water is, and has been, a problem which has been ignored in the rush to build more housing.

Think about all the problems before building more housing! Don’t build with the expectation that some future planners will solve the problems you create.


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