Growth Concerns Defeat a County Water Issue

by Charles H. Lawrance, (F.ASCE), Principal Engineer; James M. Montgomery, Consulting Engrs., Inc., Irvine, Calif.; formerly, Engr.-Mgr., Santa Barbara County Water Agency, Santa Barbara, Calif.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Water Resources Planning and Management Division, 1981, Vol. 107, Issue 1, Pg. 183-199

Document Type: Journal Paper


Santa Barbara County, California, undertook a comprehensive study of local water resources development alternatives. The county then compared these alternatives with the state extending its aqueduct to the county as provided under the state-county contract. The issue of importing from the State Water Project had become both pressing and controversial, with the state pressing for a decision. Importation advocates urged an early enlightened county vote, citing an eventual need and rising costs. Importation opponents claimed importation would prove growth-inducing and, thus, environmentally damaging. An overview is given of the study results and some of the technical and socio-economic considerations that influenced the electorate to reject a –102,000,000 bond proposal that, if successful, would have permitted the importation.

Subject Headings: Water management | Water resources | Aqueducts | Contracts | Environmental issues | Economic factors | Social factors | Bonding | California | United States

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