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Landowners form groundwater basin equity group 

Paso Robles Water Basin image from PRO Water Equity.

Landowners form new water basin overliers group

Paso Robles Water Basin image from PRO Water Equity.

Paso Robles Water Basin image from PRO Water Equity.

Landowners within the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin have formed the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin Overliers for Water Equity – PRO Water Equity.

“We are seeking a fair and equitable allocation of the groundwater in the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin through proper management of the basin,” the group press release says.

Water levels in wells throughout the majority of the groundwater basin have declined dramatically over the past two decades. The groundwater basin cannot supply all of the demands – it is in overdraft. All users need to reduce groundwater pumping in order to stabilize the basin.

The Paso Robles Groundwater Basin encompasses an area of approximately 790 square miles and is the primary, and in many places the only, source of water available to property owners throughout the north county. There are over 6,000 rural residences and numerous agricultural operations that are entirely dependent upon individual water wells that draw from the groundwater basin.

PRO Water Equity is aiming to dispel a number of myths regarding the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin.

One myth is that the next rain will fix the situation. However, water levels in the majority of the groundwater basin have declined during the past two decades. Rainfall is the only source of water recharging our basin. The average rainfall during the past two decades was similar to the long term average for the area.

You cannot always drill deeper. Water in the basin is generally saltier with depth. You may drill into poor quality water and/or water with very limited production.

Any project that brings additional water into the basin (through pipelines and other infrastructure) would take over a decade to complete. There may not be much water available elsewhere, and if it is available, it will be very expensive. While the infrastructure is being planned and built, well levels will continue to drop.

There is also a myth that the economy will be ruined if groundwater pumping is limited. However, loss of water is an issue that knows no boundaries. It doesn’t matter one’s political perspective, income level, size of property, age, if one is a business owner or rural resident, or how long one has owned their property. If the property has no water, the property value plummets, businesses can’t continue to do business, and residents can’t continue to live here. That would be a huge hit to the local economy.

Please visit www.prowaterequity.org to learn more. For more information on the group, contact Dianne Jackson at 591-9951, Nat Sherrill at 674-6060, Lindsay Pera at 202-6029 or info.prowaterequity@gmail.com.

Romo Septic Service – Septic Tank Pumping Paso Robles – (805) 835-6040

About the author: Scott Brennan

Scott Brennan is the editor and publisher of the Paso Robles Daily News.

One Response to Landowners form groundwater basin equity group

  1. Editor

    Dear Editor,

    Unless small landowners speak out, it looks like water once again will be flowing uphill toward money.

    On May 7th the Supervisors will consider options for management of the declining well levels throughout the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin.

    How will it help people dependent on ordinary wells in the Basin if representatives for irrigated ag are allowed to form and control a California Water District ?

    See California Water Code sections 34,000 and following. Section 35003 defines voting rights.

    The votes are weighted according to the assessed valuation of property owned.

    This would in effect give control of the basin to the people who have created the overdraft in the first place.

    Rural residents and small parcel owners need to be protected and fairly represented in any structures set up for basin management.

    Attend the hearing or email the Supervisors: boardofsups@co.slo.ca.us

    Maria Lorca
    Creston

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