Skip to main content

Your District At Work

Upgrading Water Infrastructure

As the District plans ahead to secure our water future, we are continuously upgrading our aging water infrastructure.

Through a vote of Ojai’s Golden State Water customers in 2013 and subsequent negotiations with the Golden State Water Company, the District acquired Golden State’s Ojai Water System in June 2017.

After the acquisition, Casitas took over management of the Ojai Water System, where aging infrastructure produced leaks and water main breaks at a rate more than three times that of Casitas’ existing system, requiring immediate action to avoid any disruption in water service.

These infrastructure improvement projects were funded through a voter-approved tax on properties within the Ojai Water System, and the District is proud that we are still able to provide our customers with affordable, high-quality water while maintaining significantly lower water rates. By addressing aging infrastructure in need of rehabilitation and replacement, customers benefit from increased reliability in their water delivery services. These improvement efforts were coordinated with the City of Ojai Public Works Department to ensure that they work in concert with the City's  street paving projects .

As of March 2024, Casitas has now completed main replacement projects on:

  • Foothill Road 
  • Sunset Place
  • Ventura Street
  • Emily and Cañada Streets
  • Grand Avenue
  • Eucalyptus Street and Mallory Way
  • Cuyama Road and El Paseo Road
  • Topa Topa Drive, San Antonio Street, Crestview Drive and Oak Creek Lane
  • Lion Street
  • West and East Ojai Avenue

Water Supply Projects 

Even though Lake Casitas has sufficient supply for the near future, the District continues to work on long-term water security projects to mitigate future drought risk, diversify water supply sources, and increase regional emergency preparedness.

As Casitas looks ahead to continue to meet the water needs of our customers and our community for years to come, we are partnering with the neighboring Carpinteria Valley Water District to connect our two water systems that are only 1.3 miles apart. The Ventura-Santa Barbara Intertie Project will allow access to the State Water Project (SWP) – the backbone of California’s water supply.  

Connecting to the State Water Project is analogous to connecting to a “water grid”.  With an intertie in place to provide the required plumbing, doors will open for future water management opportunities with a network of other agencies connected to the system.

Casitas has always considered connecting to the SWP. For decades, Casitas has held an existing contract for 5,000 acre-feet of SWP water, but has not been able to use it because we do not have the infrastructure we need to bring it here. Think of connecting to the SWP as a water insurance plan for our community – to help prevent Lake Casitas water levels from getting too low or in case of a regional emergency, we will always have the option to bring in SWP water or other supplemental water supplies.

The Ventura-Santa Barbara Intertie project will provide an average of 2,000 acre-feet per year of water supply to Casitas from the State Water Project. The bi-directional pipe and two pump stations will also allow each agency to provide the other with water during emergencies such as earthquakes or wildfires.  

Approximately $10 million of the intertie project capital cost is being funded through grants, with the remainder of costs funded through zero-interest loan through the State Water Resources Control Board.

Upcoming milestones include:

  • Design complete by December 2024
  • Federal environmental compliance complete by December 2024
  • Agreement with State Water Resources Control Board for funding by December 2025
  • Construction complete by June 2027
An overview map of a water district intertie project highlighting pipeline routes, pump plants, and infrastructure improvements.
Join our mailing list