Sustainability Plan and Progress Reports
2022 marks the tenth year of implementing the Goleta Water District Sustainability Plan. Much has changed in the 10 years since the District’s inaugural Sustainability Plan was adopted by the Board of Directors. Over the last decade, the Goleta Valley experienced a historic eight year drought, a number of significant wildfires in the Cachuma watershed, and the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in the closure of District facilities to the public, and transition of approximately 50% of the workforce to remote work. All of these events, while unanticipated, have profoundly affected how the District does business. In some cases, the net effects of those changes have been positive, such as when the District migrated workflow online and digitized tasks, increasing efficiencies and reducing paper waste and greenhouse gas emissions. However, in other cases those changes have come at a cost, such as the increased operational and maintenance expenses associated with drawing on a diverse water supply portfolio, and the increased energy needed to move, treat and deliver water.
Looking forward, the District Sustainability Plan will continue to adapt and grow. We cannot know for certain what the future may bring, but the opportunity to reduce the environmental impact of operations, minimize costs, enhance water supply reliability and emergency preparedness, and keep customers informed remains a key component of fulfilling the District’s mission of providing a reliable supply of quality water at the most reasonable cost to present and future customers.