After a tense meeting, the Santa Barbara City Council supported an increase of nearly $10 million to pay for the final work on the new desalination plant.
The total cost for the plant will be around $70 million, up from $55 million originally estimated.
The water resources manager says the contractor had unforeseen problems linked to underwater components, soil contamination and environmental issues.
Some of the plans involved using pieces from the first desalination plant, which was built on that site in the 1990's.
That maneuver caused new issues and delays.
The first water from the desalination plant could be ready by mid-March to mid-April.
As for the extended costs, the city will be paying for it now, but is hoping for some financial help down the road from the state.