Water supply has been a critical issue throughout the history of the American West, but in an age when global warming concerns and an increasingly complex water distribution system create new challenges for regulators the world over, Mark Twain’s words — “Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over” — have renewed meaning.
In Goleta, water district meetings often become raucous as board members and their customers wrangle over the details of water policy. Carpinterians watch with alarm as their water bills soar — the result of a surplus purchase of state water in 1991, at the tail end of a severe drought. And that’s just on the South Coast of Santa Barbara County.
A lot of people are saying that water is the new oil. Practically nothing in commerce can go on without water, and there are so many impacts the water supply exerts on our survival,” said Mark Kram, founder of Groundswell Technology, which developed a monitoring system aimed at better water supply management.