Creston group pitches two-year water ordinance
September 30, 2013
A committee of Creston residents and business owners is suggesting to local lawmakers that the urgency ordinance limiting new water use in the North County be extended for two more years.
Members of the Creston Advisory Body (CAB) agreed that the current ordinance duration of 45 days “is not enough to make an impact,” wrote chairperson Sheila Lyons in a letter to county supervisors and other officials, further asserting that “even more groundwater could be lost without this important validation of the urgency of the situation.”
“A two year ‘time out’ will allow basin stakeholders to come to a consensus on how to move forward with a management structure,” she added.
Lyons said many of the group’s members expressed concerns about “continued activities” in the North County.
“There are lands being ripped, irrigation pipe being laid, and stakes going in the ground,” Lyons wrote. “There is a worry that the rush to plant will resume with many hundreds, maybe even thousands, of non-irrigated acres being converted to irrigated acres — resulting in further decline of the basin — and many more rural residential wells going dry. It has got to stop.”
The Creston residents addressed the issue of a rapidly-expanding wine-grape industry which has put strains on a limited underground water supply, and created a significant rift between neighbors, urban and rural consumers, and agricultural and industrial users.
“We recognize that businesses may have put forth substantial investments but so have rural residents,” wrote Lyons. “The rural residents should not suffer at the expense of ‘future’ plantings. Rural residents are already here.”