Templeton should be concerned with Nacimiento water diversion for vineyard
Editor note: Templeton Chamber of Commerce Government Liaison Rob Rosales on Tuesday alerted the Templeton Community Service District Board of Directors about a proposal to use Nacimiento Water Project supplies at J. Lohr Vineyards. See article: Vineyard proposes using surplus lake water. Here is his letter:
TCSD Board of Directors,
I would refer you to an article posted yesterday by a local media outlet: https://pasoroblesdailynews.com/vineyard-proposes-using-surplus-lake-water/16589
Understanding that it is best to take the information provided by the media with a grain of salt, and that the facts are not always stated accurately, this news item still gives one cause for concern and should serve as a call to action for the TCSD Board of Directors.
As Templeton is the smallest entity participating in the Naci Pipeline Project, both politically and economically, it is important that Templeton protect its rights under the Naci Pipeline agreement and that the Service District take any action deemed necessary to assure that our participation is not unduly diluted due to the actions of the other participants, whether it be unilaterally, or otherwise. This is exasperated knowing that, of the four participants, Templeton is in the most immediate need of water. These truths make us more vulnerable than the other participants to any changes in the current Naci agreement, thus it is important that the Service District be proactive, rather than reactive, and fulfill its stated top priority to begin the process of procuring more Naci water.
I can’t help but believe that this will be the first of many proposed agreements with entities not currently participating in the Naci Pipeline project. While the Chamber is in favor of considering this option for users in the Paso Groundwater Basin, we are very cautious because of the precedent and possible consequences for our community. As I understand, the other participants (Templeton, Atascadero and SLO) were made aware that discussions were taking place on this proposal, however details, as stated in the article, were never provided. The participant involved is savvy enough to know that the proposal may be challenged, but was confident that they had the right and/or the support, to do so and announced their intentions with seemingly no reservation. This unilateral action by the participant should serve as a wake up call.
At the next Board meeting, April 15, Directors should, at a minimum, be sure that our appointed reps attend the upcoming Naci Committee meeting, April 17, and are prepared with a stated position on this matter. Also, a couple of months ago, the Service District Board made it a top priority to secure additional Naci water, now the Board must follow though with action. It is incumbent on the Board to provide direction to staff to aggressively proceed with securing more water from the Naci Pipeline Project at this time. This should be done before the rules change, making it easier for the other participants to make arraignments with outside entities.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
Rob Rosales, Government Liaison
Templeton Chamber of Commerce