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Water Commission

The City Council created a City Water Commission headed by Eugene Sheffield in 1900 to administer water services. Since that time, the City has constructed and operated Gibraltar Dam and Mission Tunnel; is a major user of water from Lake Cachuma; has drilled and operates a number of water wells and treatment plants; has constructed a recycled water system and desalination facility; participates in the State Water Project, operates a comprehensive water conservation program; and has constructed and operates an extensive wastewater collection, treatment, and ocean-discharge system. The City's diverse water supply system reflects the potential for periodic extended drought conditions in Santa Barbara.

The Water Resources Division is responsible for managing the City’s water supply, and operating and maintaining the water and wastewater systems.

General Functions

Advise the City Council regarding the following:

  • Advise the City Council regarding management, extension and operation of the Water Resources Division and water and wastewater facilities of the City, including the development, production, distribution and use and reuse of water, the construction, improvement, installation, maintenance and operation of all reservoirs, wastewater collection system, wastewater treatment plant, structures, equipment, utilities, appliances and facilities relating to the Water Resources Division.
  • Recommend to City Council plans, rules and regulations pertaining to the above, including fixing rates, charges or other payments.
  • Consider the annual Water Resources budget and make recommendations to the City Council and City Administrator.
  • Recommend to City Council desirable qualifications and duties of the head of the Water Resources Division.
  • Recommend to City Council regarding acquisition, disposition or repair of facilities, equipment and supplies relating to the Water Resources Division or water system and wastewater systems.
Membership 5 Members
Qualifications Must be qualified electors of the City
Length of Term Four years and until successors are appointed and qualified. Staggered terms expire on December 31 of the appropriate year.
Meeting Schedule The Commission meets on the second Monday of each month at 3:00 p.m. in the Water Resources Conference Room which is located on the third floor of 619 Garden Street.
Time Involved Approximately 4 hours per month for meetings and related activities
Financial Disclosure Requirement Members must file a Statement of Economic Interests upon appointment, annually and when leaving the advisory group.
Ethics Training Requirement The City of Santa Barbara requires members of this commission to take City ethics training within one year after member is appointed or reappointed.  
Compensation None
Staff Water Resources Division, Public Works Department, (805) 564-5393.
Reference City Charter Sections 800 - 805, and 813; Municipal Code Sections 2.08.020.K and 14.06.010; Resolution No. 95-158
Last Updated: Aug 19, 2014