Multi-family Residential Customer Drought Portal

LSIR Portal Photo Masthead

Drought information for Multi-family Residential (MFR) Customers

This webpage provides Goleta Water District Multi-family Residential (MFR) Customers
 with up-to-date statistics and information on current water supplies, demand, and the effect of the ongoing drought on the Goleta Valley.  The MFR customer class includes District customers with water service for residential housing where multiple separate housing units are contained within one building or complex.  Customers grouped into this category include apartments, condominiums, and retirement communities.  10% of customer accounts were classified as MFR as of May 2015, and 13% of Goleta Water District’s total water use.

Conservation to Date

The District is currently in a Stage III Water Shortage Emergency and is targeting a 35% reduction in demand from its customers, including MFR customers, to help ensure adequate water supplies remain available.  MFR water use decreased by 12% in 2015 compared to 2013, but as the drought deepens, additional conservation is needed.

Percent Change in Use From Baseline Image 180309

Click here for the % Change in MFR Use PDF.


MFR customers are eligible for the following rebate programs to increase conservation:

Water Savings Incentive Program

The program enables qualified LSIR customers to achieve water efficiency through individualized projects by providing rebates for the installation of water saving equipment.  By conserving water, these projects encourage efficient use of water resources and improve water supply reliability.

Eligible expenses include:

  • Improvements to existing irrigation systems and landscaping to improve water use efficiency.
  • Replacing irrigated turf with a water-wise landscape, and converting spray sprinklers to a drip system or installing a smart irrigation controller.
  • Installing water saving devices, including plumbing fixtures and toilets, and replacing inefficient appliances.
  • Installing valves and pumps to improve irrigation efficiency.

Smart Landscape Rebate Program

The program provides incentives to LSIR customers to replace water thirsty landscapes and inefficient irrigation with water-wise plants and irrigation.  Rebates cover a portion of the cost of pre-approved design, irrigation equipment, and landscape materials.  Projects must be approved in advance and landscapes for new construction are not eligible.  The program is not retroactive.  Sales receipts and/or contractor invoices are required for all rebates.

Eligible expenses include:

  • Landscape Design: 50% of the cost of landscape design, up to a maximum of $250 for design services. Design will only be rebated in combination with other approved materials.
  • Irrigation Equipment: 50% of the cost of drip irrigation parts, sprinkler system efficiency retrofits, rotating sprinkler nozzles, and equipment for a laundry to landscape graywater system.
  • Water-Wise Plants and Mulch: 50% of the cost of water-wise plants and mulch. Planted areas must be covered with a 3-inch or greater layer of mulch.
  • Smart Irrigation Controller: 50% of cost of the smart irrigation controller. Smart irrigation controllers work on simple principles: provide the appropriate watering schedule; automatically adjust for weather changes; irrigate based on the needs of your plants.
  • Synthetic Turf and Permeable Surfaces: 50% of the cost of artificial turf and other permeable surfaces.
  • Laundry-to-Landscape Graywater: 50% of the cost of laundry-to-landscape graywater system parts.

Stage III Water Shortage Emergency

The District is currently in a Stage III Water Shortage Emergency and is targeting a 35% reduction in demand from its MFR customers to help ensure adequate water supplies remain available.  The Stage III water use restrictions directly impacting MFR customers include:

Outdoor landscape irrigation

Outdoor landscape irrigation remains limited to no more than two times per week during early or late evening hours, and is now prohibited within 48 hours of measurable rainfall:

  • Manual watering (including with a sprinkler attached to a hose) is now only allowed before 8 a.m. or after 8 p.m., any two days per week.
  • Use of fixed (i.e., installed) sprinkler systems for landscape irrigation customers is limited to Tuesdays and Fridays, before 6 a.m. or after 8 p.m.
  • Public parks, athletic fields, and golf courses may now water no more than two days per week, before 6 a.m. or after 8 p.m.

No Excessive Irrigation.  Irrigating in a manner that results in runoff to adjacent property or non-irrigated areas, such as sidewalks, gutters, storm drains, and driveways, is prohibited.

Vehicles and boats may only be washed at commercial car washing facilities or with a hose equipped with a shut-off nozzle.

Use of water in outdoor fountains, reflection ponds, and decorative water features is prohibited unless located on a residential property or home to aquatic life as of September 9, 2014.

Uncorrected Plumbing Leaks.  Plumbing system leaks, breaks, or other system failures must be corrected within 48 hours of discovery.

Hose Nozzles Required.  All hoses must be equipped with a shut-off nozzle.

No Washing Down Sidewalks or Other Hard Surfaces.  This includes driveways, parking lots, open ground, and other paved surfaces, with the exception of the use of a pressure washer where necessary for maintenance, limited to once every two months where necessary to address immediate health and safety hazards, and where necessary to prepare paved surfaces for sealing.

For a full list of Stage III restrictions click here.


MFR usage patterns reveal relatively low seasonal variability.  June and September are the highest water usage months, and correlates with college move-outs and move-ins.  Seasonal variability is primarily linked to cleaning and turn-over of apartments, with some increases in outdoor irrigation during the summer months.

MFR Water Usage by Unit Count Image 150922

Because the MFR class contains a range of unit sizes, it is helpful to look at water use among similar sized customers.  Over a one year period single metered units, and those with 26-50 units, or 100 or more conserved the most water.

Change in Usage by MFR Unit Count Image 150922

Click here for the Change in Usage by MFR Unit Count PDF.


The District’s supply portfolio includes Lake Cachuma, the Goleta Groundwater Basin, the State Water Project, and recycled water.  The current drought has reduced the available supply from Lake Cachuma and the State Water Project.  For the first time in the Lake’s history, the District received a zero allocation starting on October 1, 2015.  Instead, the District is increasingly relying on the Goleta Groundwater Basin.


Smart Landscape Rebate Program: Please click here for program details, or call (805) 879-4643.

Water Saving Incentive Program: Please click here for program details, or call (805) 879-4643.

Santa Barbara County Rainfall and Reservoir Summary

Santa Barbara County Public Works (rainfall, reservoir, stream, and other hydrologic related information and data)

Please contact Ryan Drake, Water Supply and Conservation Manager, with any questions or for additional information.
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(805) 879-4627