Department of Water Resources formally establishes Atascadero Sub-basin
Determination will promote continued sustainable management, city says
–The California Department of Water Resources, or DWR, has determined that the Atascadero Groundwater Sub-basin is hydraulically separate from the larger Paso Robles Groundwater Basin.
This determination by the DWR is beneficial to several North County agencies and their stakeholders, as it will promote the continued sustainable management of groundwater in the Atascadero Sub-basin in a cost-effective and efficient manner. The determination will assist Atascadero Sub-basin stakeholders in complying with the requirements and schedule identified by the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, according to the city.
For months prior to the determination, representatives from the cities of Paso Robles and Atascadero, the Templeton Community Services District and Atascadero Mutual Water Company, have been meeting to discuss how best to sustainably manage groundwater in the Atascadero Sub-basin. Mayor Tom O’Malley said he appreciated the collaborative efforts of our communities and stated, “It was encouraging to see the four entities come together to insure the long term sustainability of the Atascadero Groundwater Sub-basin.”
Council member Roberta Fonzi states, “The DRW determination enables all of us to continue the successful water sustainability efforts we have in place and have already been doing.”
AMWC and TCSD, working with Fugro, Inc. and other highly-qualified consultants, developed the scientific evidence that demonstrates that the Rinconada fault is a significant barrier to the flow of percolating groundwater between the Atascadero Sub-basin and the Paso Robles groundwater basin. TCSD prepared the application and played a significant role in the combined basin boundary modification effort.
AMWC Board Member Grigger Jones says, “The Atascadero Sub-basin has long been identified in various technical studies and by governing authorities of several local agencies as being hydraulically separate from the larger Paso Robles Basin due to the Rinconada Fault, which impedes groundwater flow between the two basins.”
David LaCaro, Board President of Templeton Community Services Districted said,”We appreciate the state’s decision on TCSD’s application to separate the Atascadero Basin from the Paso Robles Basin. This decision is consistent with how the Atascadero Basin has been managed locally for years. We look forward to working with our partners, not only in the Atascadero Basin, but in the greater Paso Robles Basin as well, in an effort to better manage our groundwater for the benefit of all who use the resource.”
The Atascadero Sub-basin has consistently maintained stable groundwater levels while groundwater levels across the Rinconada Fault in the Paso Robles Basin have been declining for years. The sub-basin is fully expected to continue operating at a high level of sustainability through the balance of the 20-year SGMA implementation period, due in part to prior investments and the combined efforts made by the north county agencies and their ability to successfully implement municipal water conservation.
For more information, contact Terrie Banish, Deputy City Manager at (805) 470-3490 or John Neil, at the Atascadero Mutual Water Company at (805) 466-2428.