Paso Robles News|Thursday, May 19, 2022
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City secures additional Nacimiento water 

Water will be used to recharge river underflow, lessen demand water treatment plant

–At the most recent Paso Robles City Council meeting, the council unanimously adopted necessary environmental findings and approved the acceptance of the city’s full Nacimiento reserve water allocation. This means that the city has secured access to an additional 2,488 acre feet of Nacimiento water at no additional cost. since the delivery system infrastructure already exists.

No additions or expansion to the water delivery system are proposed, and no operational changes would result from this action. Additionally, no new or amended permits are associated with this action. The city prepared an environmental analysis on the potential implications of this action which determined that no potential environmental impacts are anticipated as a result of the additional water delivery entitlement.

The San Luis Obispo County Flood Control & Water Conservation District, is entitled to no less than 17,500 acre feet of water per year from Lake Nacimiento. A portion of that water, 1,750 AFY, is held for lakeside uses, leaving 15,750 AFY available for use in other areas of San Luis Obispo County.

Paso Robles, along with four other agency participants, currently holds entitlement to a combined 9,655 AFY of water. This leaves 6,095 AFY of “Reserve Water” that is not yet contractually committed. The Nacimiento Water Project infrastructure has an existing capacity to deliver the full 15,750 AFY. The approved action will allow the city to accept its proportionate share of “reserve water.”

proposed water full allocation paso robles


The additional allocation would be used to:

  • Increase reliability of water supplies
  • Reduce demand on Paso Robles groundwater basin wells
  • Augment summertime peak demands
  • Response to a water rights challenge
  • Provide for emergencies, including, water quality event, or well failure, etc.
  • Address impacts of prolonged drought / climate change.


The city’s water treatment plant, which is now operational, treats Nacimiento Water Project water to offset groundwater production and improve water quality. Due to treatment plant capacity limitations, additional Nacimiento Water Project water will either not be transported to the plant or it will be released into the Salinas River underflow to recharge the aquifer and sustain pumping from the city’s river wells.