Staff Report

The Board of Trustees of the Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District, Improvement District No.1 (ID1) voted Dec. 15 to defer a 5 percent water rate increase that was scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1. The scheduled rate increase will be deferred for six months and the issue will be revisited in June. 

“One of our core responsibilities as a District and elected Board of Trustees is to ensure we have the financial means to carry out our mission of providing sufficient, reliable, high quality water supplies to all of our customers,” said Jeff Clay, president of the district’s board. 

“While water rates are a critical factor in that equation, we also recognize that our customers have faced unprecedented challenges in 2020. Based on the district fiscal stability, deferring water rates seemed the right thing to do at this time,” he added.  

ID1’s decision to postpone the scheduled rate increase is the second step this year in support of its customers. From March through October of 2020, the board suspended all late penalties on accounts that were unable to pay on time due to financial hardship. 

“This is a community effort,” said Clay. “Economically we need to plan and prepare for the future while keeping a close eye on the present.” 

The district proudly serves potable water supplies for domestic, agricultural, commercial, and institutional needs within the communities of Santa Ynez, Los Olivos, Ballard, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, and the City of Solvang on a limited basis. The Board of Trustees is comprised of President Jeff Clay, Vice President Brad Joos, and Trustees Mike Burchardi, Lori Parker and Jeff Holzer. 

For more information about ID1, visit and be sure to attend their monthly board meetings.