Governor signs bill to allow Paso Robles Water Basin District
Assemblyman Achadjian applauds governor’s commitment to managing groundwater locally
California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 2453, a bill introduced and shepherded through the Legislature by Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian. AB 2453 will establish a hybrid governance structure for the yet to-be-formed Paso Robles Basin Water District as well as broaden the powers and authorities that the San Luis Obispo Local Agency Formation Commission may choose from when creating the Water District.
“Governor Brown’s signature on this legislation is the culmination of very lengthy discussions on how to manage the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin. It is only with leadership from the Board of Supervisors and the City of Paso Robles, that we were able to create a framework for the water district that will now go before the public through the LAFCO process,” said Achadjian. “I am very proud to say that this was a team effort,” he said.
While AB 2453 establishes the governance structure and gives the county LAFCO broader discretion when establishing powers and authorities, LAFCO will have a lengthy process by which residents of the basin may provide input on the structure of the water district. Residents of the basin approached the local government and Achadjian about creating the hybrid governance structure to ensure that all residents in the basin had a voice. Over 300 wells have gone dry this year alone in the Basin due to a third consecutive year of a drought in California. Over 60% of water in the state comes from groundwater, therefore this precious resource must be managed accordingly.
“While the district is not yet formed, I am pleased to know that the local residents will continue to have input in the LAFCO process prior to the formation of the district because local control is the only way to properly manage our groundwater resources,” said Achadjian.
AB 2453 will take effect on January 1, 2015.
Assemblyman Achadjian represents all of San Luis Obispo County and part of Santa Barbara County, including the cities of Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Paso Robles, Grover Beach, Guadalupe, Lompoc, Morro Bay, Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria and surrounding communities.