Important Water Meetings This Week

Tuesday, August 18th
Board of Supervisors
9:00 AM, SLO Government Center
The Board of Supervisors will review and consider approving a report on the Proposition 218 funding mechanism for the Paso Basin. The funding formula results in a fair and equitable distribution of the costs of the district. Irrigated agriculture would bear the vast bulk of the cost, with rangeland and rural residents shouldering their share without it being burdensome. Example: a 10 acre homeowner with no identified irrigated land would have an annual tax of $37.50.
This funding formula will be used whether the proposed Paso Basin Water District or the Flood Control District manages the basin. PRO Water Equity continues to support management of the basin by a locally controlled public water district.  See the details here. See Paso Basin Advisory Committee and PRO Water Equity letters of support.Thursday afternoon, August 20th
The Paso Basin Advisory Committee
Regular monthly meeting
2:00 to 4:00 p.m., Templeton Community Center
Thursday evening, August 20th
LAFCO hearing
5:30 to 10:30 PM
Paso Robles Event Center
A must attend hearing. LAFCO will hold its first hearing on formation of the proposed Paso Robles Basin Water District. The Commission will consider boundaries, powers and governance options for the district.  The hearing will be continued to September 17th in SLO.
Most importantly, the Commission will accept public testimony regarding the Paso Robles Basin Water District. This is your opportunity to provide your comments to the LAFCO Commissioners. To have the opportunity to vote on this issue, the LAFCO Commissioners must approve the formation election, which would tentatively take place on March 8, 2016.
The hearing begins at 5:30 pm, beginning with approximately an hour of staff presentation, followed by public comment. Please come and give your support. Saying just the five, simple words “I support the water district” will make a difference. Plan to state your name and where you live. Those wishing to speak for only one minute will go first, followed by those speaking for two minutes, and then those speaking for three minutes.
Please plan to attend. If you cannot attend, you can email LAFCO:
David Church, Executive Officer

Responsible Interim Management of the Paso Basin

On Tuesday, February 24th, the Board of Supervisors will re-visit the Ag Offset Ordinance.  Various concerns have been expressed about the Urgency Ordinance; however, this “timeout” is still needed. Work is underway to establish a locally-controlled public water district whose charge will be to manage and balance the basin.  Until the water district is formed and operational, interim measures are needed.
The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) requires that the groundwater basin be sustainably managed. The recent computer model update shows that growth in water uses would make this task much harder, with greater economic impacts on current water users.  PRO Water Equity recognizes our water resource limitations and wants to ensure protection of our rural residents and current business operations.
PRO Water Equity supports:
  • A new ordinance for Responsible Interim Management of the Paso Basin with a sunset clause.
  • Water neutrality for new water uses.
  • Include the provisions of the current Urgency Ordinance.
  • Limit provisions for vested rights to those under the current Urgency Ordinance (i.e. no new vested rights).
  • Sunset when a Groundwater Sustainability Plan is in place or an entity (i.e. Paso Basin Water District) is able to manage the basin.
  • Requesting County staff to work with basin stakeholders, particularly the Paso Basin Advisory Committee, on specific ordinance language.
Please speak at Tuesday’s meeting if you can. The BoS must understand that the well level declines are still occurring and the “timeout” is still needed. If you cannot attend, please send an email. If the Board does not hear public support for this issue, it will die.Thank you for your continued support and input in this important process.

Board of Supervisors
Frank Mecham, District 1
Bruce Gibson, District 2
Adam Hill, District 3
Lynn Compton, District 4
Debbie Arnold, District 5

Sad day at the BoS

The situation in the Paso Basin is even worse than when the Urgency Ordinance was adopted in 2013.  According to the projections in the computer model update, with growth the overdraft in the basin will increase to 26,000 acre-ft/year.

By a 3-2 vote, the Board of Supervisors voted not to pursue a countywide water offset ordinance.  Read the SLO Tribune story.

PRO Water Equity submitted a letter to BoS on 2-1-15 in support of the ag offset ordinance.