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Assemblyman introduces bill to advance formation of new water district 

Water district bill introduced.

State Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian is Paso Robles’ representative at the California State Assembly.

After receiving votes of support from the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors and the Paso Robles City Council, local Republican State Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian introduced a bill that is the first step in creating the proposed Paso Robles Basin Water District.

Over the past year, two water basin groups composed of large landowners and rural residents, joined together to propose the creation of a new water district. The Paso Robles Agricultural Alliance for Groundwater Solutions, known as PRAAGS, and the Paso Robles groundwater basin Overliers for Water Equity, known as PRO Water Equity have proposed legislation, and a draft petition to the state agency that creates special districts.

“Taking my cue from the Board of Supervisors and the City of Paso Robles, who voted unanimously to support the formation of the water district, I have introduced legislation to change the composition of the Water District’s Board of Directors to ensure the appropriate representation on the board – one that will guarantee that stakeholders have a seat at the table,” Achadjian told the Paso Robles Daily News in a statement Friday.

“My bill will only make changes to the Water Code to address the composition of the board of directors,” he said.

“I would like to take this time to confirm that the process in which I decided to carry this legislation was not taken lightly,” Achadjian said. “I remain committed to taking direction from the Board of Supervisors, as they heard the direct concerns from county residents in two lengthy public hearings over the course of the last two weeks.”

This bill will not create the district, he said. It will only allow this unique board of directors designed specifically for the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin. The San Luis Obispo Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) will have the ultimate jurisdiction over the possible creation of the water district. This process will include setting the boundaries of the district, and determining the powers and duties of the district, among other issues, and will include multiple opportunities for residents and stakeholders to ask questions and voice their concerns.

Notably, the Atascadero City Council voted this week to oppose including properties overlying the Atascadero groundwater sub-basin within the boundaries of the proposed district.

See related story:

Water basin groups reveal proposed district map

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About the author: Publisher Scott Brennan

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog.