Severe riverbank erosion creates concern for Paso Robles wells
—The Salinas River is facing severe erosion, which negatively affects the security of the Paso Robles Thunderbird well field, which houses five wells. The erosion is largely due in part of two years of heavy rains following five years of intense drought.
The rate of erosion is unprecedented, according to reports. The Thunderbird well field is where the processing of water from Lake Nacimiento and under the riverbed to potable water happens; it annually supplies two-thirds of the city’s water, which is about 1.5 billion gallons, with the remaining amount coming from deep water wells, according to reports.
The city is currently taking steps to halt the riverbank erosion, including directing $750,000 of the public works reserve fund of $3 million to stabilize the riverbank on June 19. The city has cited this issue as an emergency, with this process estimated at four months.
Issues related to erosion of the riverbank has recently caused devastation in Paso Robles, including a March flooding that displaced homeless in the riverbed. Countless trees have also been pushed over.