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Public works director addresses city water supplies 

Dick McKinley

Paso Robles Public Works Director Dick McKinley.

Regarding the new Beechwood housing development article and the meeting coming up Tuesday, here are some facts that might help everyone better understand the water issue:

1. The City of Paso Robles currently has three water supplies and is developing the fourth supply.

Those supplies are:

a. Salinas River water wells
b. Groundwater wells
c. Lake Nacimiento water
d. Recycled water (currently being developed)

2. According to the 2015 Urban Water Management Plan, when the city is at full buildout, it will need about 9,500 acre-feet of water per year. Full buildout includes all of the housing developments being discussed (total population of about 44,000), plus all hotels and other commercial/industrial development.

3. At full buildout, meaning all four water supplies are fully developed, the city will have about 15,000 acre-feet of water per year. An acre-foot of water is what it would take to cover one acre of land (43,560 square feet) one foot deep, or about 325,800 gallons. This means that we will have enough water to meet our needs, and to have a diversified supply so that we are able to respond to issues like droughts without a major problem.

4. The drought limitations the city put in place in June 2015 were the direct result of State of California mandates, not because the City of Paso Robles was short of water. There are currently no drought restrictions in place in Paso Robles. If the city were to need to put watering restrictions into effect again, we would make sure the public was aware of the restrictions and the reason for them.

5. The Paso Robles water customers have done an excellent job of conserving water when the drought restrictions were in effect. Within the first two years of the State mandated drought restrictions, Paso Robles water customers saved over 450 million gallons of water, or almost 1,400 acre-feet of water.

Dick McKinley
Public Works Director

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