The Ventura County Board of Supervisors has decided to suspend an 11-year-old regional water conservation program because of a lack of funding and participation by water agencies.
The board voted 4 to 0 Tuesday to end the $85,000-a-year program, which sought to promote water conservation through agricultural workshops, school programs and newsletters. It served as a clearinghouse for information on water consumption and other data for more than 170 water purveyors in the county.
Thomas Berg, director of the Resource Management Agency, told the board that the county could no longer afford to subsidize the program without the assistance of the area's largest water agencies.
By suspending the program, the county would save $65,000 a year in general fund expenditures, Berg said. Before the water agencies pulled out of the program, the county's subsidy had been $18,000.
The Casitas Municipal Water District dropped out of the program in 1992, and the Calleguas Municipal Water District and United Water Conservation District also recently ended their participation. The water districts said they will continue to promote conservation through their own in-house programs.
Supervisor Vicky Howard said the regional program had proven successful and cost effective over the years and that the county regretted having to discontinue it because of lack of money.