Source: CA DWR



  • Basin Name
  • Montecito
  • Basin Number
  • 3-049
  • SGMA Basin Priority
  • Medium
  • Critically Overdrafted
  • No
  • Hydrologic Region Name
  • Central Coast
  • Counties
  • Santa Barbara


Located in California’s Central Coast hydrologic region, the Montecito is 6,144.71 acres in size. This Medium priority basin is home to an estimated 9,667 people (2010 value), which have been at a rate of .

Montecito is a(n) basin with approximately 386 wells, of which approximately 10 are water supply wells. Groundwater accounts for approximately 45 percent of the basin’s water supply.

Source: CA DWR
Source: CA DWR

Basin Notes

2003: Bulletin 118 basin description

2011: In 2011, the Montecito Water District obtained approximately 82% of its water from the Santa Ynez River System, 4% from the State Water Project, 11% from Doulton Tunnel intrusion and relied on the Montecito Groundwater Basin for 3% of its yearly production needs. Review of water quality for recently tested MWD wells shows no quality degradation when compared to previous years. Studies also indicate that seawater intrusion is not a significant problem in the basin. It is thought that deeper aquifers of the basin are protected from seawater intrusion by an impermeable offshore fault. However, some encroachment of seawater might occur in shallower aquifers during periods of heavy pumping such as during the early 1960s. Source: Santa Barbara County Groundwater Report

2014CASGEM Basin Prioritization – very low

2016: Basin prioritization – medium. Comment – Salt intrusion: 1) Groundwater quality is generally good for municipal and agricultural uses. There are localized areas with high TDS near the Pacific Ocean due to seawater intrusion (DWR 2004an, 2004ao, 2004ap, 2004aq, 2004ar, 2013e; GWD and LCMWC 2010). Source: LTO-EIS_USBR_Chapter7

Basin boundary modification request by Carpinteria 3-018 denied

2019: Jurisdictional basin boundary modification with Carpinteria Valley Water District approved. Priority status: medium.

Groundwater in Santa Barbara County information page

GSA Information