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About Us

The Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District, Improvement District No.1 (the "District") was formed on July 7, 1959 under the Water Conservation Law of 1931, Division 21, Section 74000 et seq. of the California Water Code (the Act) for the purposes of furnishing potable domestic and irrigation water within it boundaries. The District has operated continuously since 1959.

The District functions as an Improvement District, which means it is an independent unit of local government serving the needs of a community.  Improvement Districts are the most efficient forms of government since the cost of the services provided to the customers directly equals the revenue generated from the charges for services provided.

Located in the central portion of Santa Barbara County, the District serves the communities of Santa Ynez, Los Olivos, Ballard, the Santa Ynez Band of the Chumash Indians, and the City of Solvang on a limited basis.  With a populaton of approximately 6,737 customers (excluding the City of Solvang), the District currently provides water directly to 2,598 municipal and industrial customers and approximately 97 agricultural customers.  The District encompasses an area of approximately 10,850 acres (including approximately 1,300 acres within Solvang).

The District obtains its water supplies from the Cachuma Project via exchange of State Water Project supplies, direct diversions from the Cachuma Project (as needed), direct deliveries from the State Water Project, production from the Santa Ynez Uplands Groundwater Basin, and diversions from the Santa Ynez River alluvium. 

The District's major activities include acquisition, construction, operation, and maintenance of works and facilities for the development and use of water resources and water rights including, without limitation, works and facilities to divert, store, pump, treat, deliver, and sell water for reasonable and beneficial uses by the District's domestic and agricultural customers.