Read the SLO Tribune article here.
AB 2453 has been well received in Sacramento, passing the Assembly and two Senate committees, and scheduled for a vote by the full Senate next month. However, the amended bill is very different from the original bill, which was based on a compromise between PRO Water Equity and the Paso Robles Agricultural Alliance for Groundwater Solutions. While some of the amendments are very good, some are not appropriate for our situation, and others were not well thought through.
On June 17, 2014, the Board of Supervisors conditioned support of several proposed amendments with the addition of their own amendments. In taking that step, the Board effectively took management of the language of AB 2453, and therefore, the bill. As a result of that decision, we now look to the County Board of Supervisors to follow through in creating a management structure for the Basin.
PRO Water Equity is no longer able to support or sponsor AB 2453. We do, however, support the efforts in Sacramento to develop comprehensive groundwater management. We have submitted letters to Assembly Member Katcho Achadjian and Chair of the Board of Supervisors, Bruce Gibson, stating such.
PRO Water Equity and PRAAGS worked out a compromise in the form of the hybrid voting structure for a water district—governance that allows all residents and landholders a voice and prevents any group or individual from controlling the board of directors.
PRO Water Equity still firmly believes that the Basin needs to be balanced, and that a locally-controlled water district with the proposed hybrid governance structure is the best solution for our community. Going forward, we will look to our Board of Supervisors to keep the needs of the rural residents and small landowners in mind while figuring out how to share the water that belongs to all of us.
We want to thank all of those who have supported us in our quest to ensure the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin is managed and balanced so that it is sustainable into the future. We thank Senator Bill Monning for his support in the Senate. A very special thanks goes to Assembly Member Katcho Achadjian and his staff for all of their hard work on AB 2453. It is now up to the County and the community to come together to find solutions for our declining groundwater basin.