Water district bill hits snag

June 19, 2014
Katcho Achadjian

Katcho Achadjian

A Senate committee gave the nod to a legislative proposal by Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian to create a water district to govern the Paso Robles aquifer, but attached significant provisos.

Following a dramatic shift in position by the San Luis County Board of Supervisors Wednesday on the issue of voter control, Achadjian (R-San Luis Obispo) said amendments will be added to the bill, AB 2453, to change the creating mechanism for a district to one-person, one-vote.

Previously, the legislation had called for creation and management to be based on acreage ownership, which opponents of the district concept feared would establish a board heavily weighted in favor of a small number of large landowners.

The move by supervisors, engineered by District Five Supervisor Debbie Arnold, throws the whole idea of a water district for the North County into disarray, and may adversely affect the bill’s lineup of supporters.

After the Senate committee action, Achadjian issued this statement: “We have been consistent with our efforts to follow the intentions of the Board of Supervisors. The management of water is a local issue that should be managed by local agencies. After receiving their letter, I am working to amend my legislation to incorporate the changes sought by the Board of Supervisors. The Senate Governance and Finance Committee passed the bill with the understanding that I would seek additional clarification in delivering the Board’s message as clearly as possible. I am having our Legislative Counsel look into the proposed amendments and they are currently being drafted.”

Supervisor Bruce Gibson, who has been an unrelenting proponent of acreage-based control of the district, was at the Senate committee hearing but did not speak.


Gibson can keep his wife cheating rear end out of north county business as far as I am concerned.


Frank, you must be walking with a little different gait now that you finally got that third

gonad to drop (although the jury is still out debating whether the other two were real).

But congrats. One man – one vote. Sounds nice – and maybe one day it will really

happen; but those who have the money or the acreage will not give up easily. Time will

tell if your ‘new and improved’ stance helps any.


Glad to see that Frank came around.

Clearly Gibson wants another avenue to limit our property rights and control our lives. I

agree that Katcho is an idiot. It is clear that he is an errand boy for Gibson.

We do not need a separate water district – the existing county flood control district has the power to deal with the issue – the Sups just need to act. Secondly, the creation of a district that does not include the city of Paso Robles is a political fraud. The uncontrolled growth of Paso and its many wells to service that growth are just as much to blame for any overdraft as any other user of water including the grape industry. To tax and control those of us who live in the country and not include Paso in any solution is a great political failure.

Debbie at times has stood alone and has been on the receiving end of out of line remarks by both Gibson and Hill. I am proud of her and glad that I live in her district.



Debbie Arnold is now a force to be reckoned with in SLO county. I hope she keeps standing up for transparency, openly discussing issues and actually representing the interest of the citizens.

Mitch C

Achadjian is an idiot!


We already knew that, didn’t we?



Some of us are SLO learners.

Jorge Estrada

I guess it is safe to say that if you are not allowed to vote, you will never be a part of this district, should it be voted into creation? Being that the SLO Gulp is only half full (half perfected), what will a new water district attain other than tax revenue from it’s participants?

Remember the voice of California,” there is no unappropriated water in the Salinas River.” That means all is already spoken for and uncontested since 1942. My belief is that this present discussion is like legal-ease quicksand. there is firm ground.


Santa Margarita Lake takes no water from the North County. Volume in and out is always equal until there is excess flowing into the ocean. As to the purpose of the project it was built to provide water to SLO. The North County had plenty of water before they sucked it dry in 70 years. The basin being a partially empty tank why not let the San Joaquin use it for storage? Note to Atascadero; they’re coming after your water next.

Jorge Estrada

If there actually is a half full basin tank, why would you suggest filling it with polluted water from the valley? The thought of turning our natural gift into a State Managed Sand Filter (toxic waste dump) is a rediculous idea as is the notion that Santa Margarita Lake (Salinas Reservoir) takes no water from the North County.

Even if you remove the big straw that SLO uses to suck water from Santa Margarita Lake, this enlarged bank of the river, created by the impound, wicks greater amounts of water into the bank like a sponge or finds its way into fractures to who knows where. The Salinas River is not lined with clay.