Supervisor promoting new water pipeline
April 27, 2014
San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Bruce Gibson is spearheading plans to construct two water pipelines to provide surplus water from Nacimiento Lake to the county during times state water is in short supply.
At a cost of about $3 million, the almost mile-long pipeline is projected to bring emergency water supplies to Morro Bay and multiple public facilities on Highway 1 in northern San Luis Obispo County. County public works engineers are completing plans for the pipeline which is slated to only be used when state water is unavailable.
Gibson, a vocal opponent of desalination, is in favor of the project because it diversifies water sources for several facilities currently dependent on state water.
Nevertheless, at times of severe drought, both state water and Nacimento Lake water are in short supply. The state Drought Task Force is recommending desalination plants on the Central Coast.
“On the Central Coast, they have in the past looked at desalination,” said Bill Croyle, director of the state Drought Task Force. “So if we lose our groundwater and surface water, we are going to go to the ocean. It is going to be expensive, but you bring in mobile plants and fire them up.”
Several years ago, the $176 million dollar controversial Nacimiento Water Project pipeline was completed. While promoted by some San Luis Obispo County staffers and officials, opponents of the pipeline argued for a desalination plant contending that during a serious drought water levels at the lake would be miniscule.