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 use 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 the 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.

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