The California drought has been gaining attention for quite some time now, and cities across the Golden State have been working to save water and eliminate waste. Santa Barbara and Montecito have been taking drastic measures to ration and conserve water, gaining national attention for the cities' success. The Santa Barbara News-Press' Sara Bush recently reported on the success of the Montecito Water District's water rationing ordinance. Below is a synopsis of Bush's article.

The Montecito Water District (MWD) enacted an ordinance earlier this year to force customers to cut back on water use by 30% or face fines. After receiving information about the severity of the drought and a few tips on how to save water, educated customers went above and beyond the call, with 80% bringing their water usage to or below their allocations in May, and 84% (!) below the allocation in April. Many believe Montecitians will simply write a check to pay a fine, in order to keep their rolling lawns lush, but experts were astounded by the efforts residents were putting in.

The MWD's Thomas Mosby has been contacted by major national news outlets such as CBS and NBC to discuss the strategy which has garnered so much success in such a small timeframe. Mr. Mosby advises people to read their water meters every two or three days, and avoid leaving properties (and irrigation systems!) unattended for long periods of time.

For more information on the water emergency in Montecito, and how you can help conserve water and lower your water bill, check out the MWD website.