Answer in a Breeze

Question: “If Ventura has a water shortage why is it allowing so many apartments, condos and a hotel to be built?” Tony Jankowski

Answer by Ventura Water

The State of California requires the all cities and counties within the State, including the City of Ventura,  to plan for and to allow construction of new housing.  This is part of a decades long concerted effort by the State to get cities to add housing to support the State economy.  State law specifically does not allow a city to waive its responsibility to plan for housing growth because of water supply challenges. 

In 2016, the City adopted a water neutral development policy known as the Water Rights Dedication and Water Resource Net Zero Policy.  The Net Zero Policy Ordinance requires new development to offset new or increased water demand through one or more compliance options, including dedication of water rights, extraordinary conservation measures, and/or payment of a fee. The fee proceeds go towards paying for future water supply projects, so that existing rate payers do not absorb the entire cost of necessary future water supplies. 

New development must also comply with the latest efficiency requirements in the Building Code, as well as the Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance.

Additionally, Ventura Water continually assesses water supply and demands through planning efforts including the Annual Comprehensive Water Resources Report and the Urban Water Management Plan. These assessments consider new development projects, anticipated increase in water demand, and impacts to the water supply, to ensure a balanced and stable water future.  The City is also moving forward on two water supply reliability projects – the VenturaWaterPure Project and the State Water Interconnection Project – to ensure a sustainable water supply for existing and future customers.

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