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Santa Barbara, Montecito Set To Make Historic 50 Year Water Deal Official

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A South Coast community is celebrating a historic deal this week which will help lock in a reliable, drought-proof water supply for the next half century.

The Montecito Water District is signing a 50 year water supply agreement with the City of Santa Barbara Wednesday.

The water district is buying into the city’s desalination plant, which converts salt water into fresh water.  The deal calls for Montecito to pick up $33 million dollars of the recently rebuilt plant’s $72 million dollar price tag, as well as to share in operational costs.

Starting in 2022, the water district will get nearly 50% of the plant’s output, which is enough to meet 40% of Montecito’s water needs.