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County and city leaders vote for new water district 

Supervisors and city council vote to support forming a water district

Next step is up to the state of California

paso robles water districtThe positive momentum for the creation of a Paso Robles Basin Water District continues. The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors approved a Legislative Platform Policy Statement for forming a water district to manage the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin. Supervisors Frank Mecham, Bruce Gibson and Adam Hill voted in favor.

“The language in the statement supports the special legislation that would create a hybrid district to manage the basin,” said Jerry Reaugh, chairman of Paso Robles Agricultural Alliance for Groundwater Solutions (PRAAGS) and owner of Sereno Vista Vineyard.

“The passage of the statement represents the growing support in the community and the success that we can achieve when we stop criticizing and start working cooperatively, as so many in the North County have done in recent months,” said Reaugh.

The endorsement by the Board of Supervisors came shortly before a second victory at the Paso Robles City Council meeting, where members voted 4-0 to support PRAAGS and PRO Water Equity’s plan for a hybrid district. Councilman Ed Steinbeck sat out of the City Council vote.

PRAAGS and PRO Water Equity will now continue working with Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, R-San Luis Obispo. Mr. Achadjian said he is likely to carry a special legislation bill for forming a water district before the legislature in Sacramento if it receives county support.

If the state passes the special legislation, PRAAGS and PRO Water Equity will present a petition to LAFCO to place district formation to a vote.

“LAFCO will open up the process to public input, providing even more opportunities for people to get involved and have their voices heard,” said Sue Luft, president of PRO Water Equity and a landowner overlying the basin.

“While we’re still several away from the formation of a water district, we’re very encouraged by the swift progress that North County citizens have achieved of late,” said Reaugh.

Luft said, “We expect more and more people to realize the value and fairness of the proposed water district and join the growing coalition of supporters.”

Last week the groups released their proposed map of the Paso Robles Basin Water District

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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.