Nipomo board seeking water rate increase

September 21, 2014

water2The Nipomo Community Services District is seeking a water rate increase that would raise costs about 30 percent for the average rate payer. If approved, the rate hike will start July 1, 2015.

In Sept. 2013, the board voted to have Tuckfield and Associates perform ta water rate study to help finance a pipeline to bring water from Santa Maria. Contractors broke ground on the pipeline in Sept. 2013. It is slated for completion in the summer of 2015.

On Wednesday’s agenda, the district board is scheduled to vote on approval of the study and the scheduling and noticing of a rate adoption hearing.

If the study is approved, water customers will have 45 days to protest the proposed increase. If a majority of water users protest the increase, a rate hike will not occur.

A rate increase hearing will be scheduled for Nov. 21, if the study is approved on Wednesday.

Rich in MB

Waste not want not

Or just trust your elected officials to screw you

Enjoy your “Democracy”


Water Boards are quickly replacing school board as the top govt agency demanding more money. My water bill more than tripled this year. I have rotor-tilled my garden, stopped watering my grapes and trees. Letting mother nature have her land back.


This ” Automatic Rate Increase ” process is rigged against the citizens !

When you can count yes votes, then no votes, and then Count Each Ballot That Is Not Returned as a YES Vote, you have a very undemocratic process that does not represent the will of the people.

It provides these Public Districts and Staff with essentially an ” Open Checkbook With The Ratepayers” to do whatever they want ! We have No Checks or Balances, it is out of control.

Lets have a straight up and down vote of the tax-ratepayers to determine this very important issue. A real democratic election of the people. If it is infrastructure that is the issue, certainly a one time bond election where the funds can only be used for the one time pipeline project is appropriate. Why have higher rates After the project is completed? Should developers be required to pay higher rates at the building and developing profit phase ?

Certainly a lot of different options to be considered that are more fair, more balanced, more rational.

I trust the people to make the right choices for their communities when we allow the Constitution and Democratic process that have made our country and local communities great to work .


This Board has never met a developer they didn’t like. They have sent water out of the District to Summit Station, Black Lake Golf Course, the development behind the Speedway, and others. New rate increases for ratepayers is accompanied by a reduction in connection fees for new development. Even though folks in Nipomo voted AGAINST state water, the Board kept approving it (even had an election where votes were weighted by one’s land assessed valuation…like Paso tried. They STILL lost with weighted votes…so much for one man, one vote). Still they went ahead with the pipeline to bring in State water from the back door (Santa Maria). With this drought, there is NO State water being delivered. Now, with all the will serve letters, new connections, etc. more water is necessary, so let the ratepayers pay, let developers benefit. Meanwhile,the aquifer continues to be pumped for THREE golf courses on the Mesa, with peripheral plantings that resemble Hawaii. As Nipomo folks conserve, dry up lawns etc., the golf courses are nice and green. Yep, pay for State water from Santa Maria, continue to develop, keep golf courses nice and green, send more water out of NCSD area, all on the backs of those living in NCSD territory. And….included in the rate increase are funds to develop marine salt water processing in the future. Encino? We should be so lucky. That huge new sewage treatment plant is indicative of the future of Nipomo. (Notice the new landscaping next to the freeway planted by NCSD during our drought)


The county and NCSD have long planned to build a large, high-density, low-income development in Nipomo. This pipeline will finally allow that to happen.


It would not happen if the board of supervisors would man up and own this problem. If they quit issuing permits and stopped ‘will serves’ until a sustainable water supply is in place there would be no new development.

The pipeline will bring in at best less than half the water needed for the water supply to be sustainable and at the beginning only ten percent.


Someone help me out here as I am not “up-to-speed” on this whole groundwater issue in South County.

Didn’t Santa Maria sue the Nipomo Mesa Water purveyors for pumping water from beneath the Mesa, which Santa Maria claimed was draining their groundwater basin?

If that’s the case, then was not the water from Santa Maria moving through the ground to the Mesa?

And if that is true, then why build a pipeline, wouldn’t drilling a new, deeper well(s) do the same thing if water can move through the ground?

And if so, wouldn’t it be cheaper than laying a pipeline?

Does Santa Maria have State Water?

Just curious.


It is the new deeper wells that are creating depressions in the aquifer that have stopped the water from flowing to the Five Cities aquifer and put their wells out of commission. The water supply on the Mesa cannot sustain the Mesa population.


Like Ben Franklin said, “You never know the value of water until the well runs dry.”

This will keep bring in new water even when the well runs dry. Cambria anyone?


With no water conservation program only briefly for four years (a program that delivered between 12 and 14% decrease in water conservation annually) and no water conservation program for the last four years, the fact that NCSD must gouge the rate-payers with a 30% rate increase is not surprising.

Even as saltwater intrusion may already have occurred in the Mesa, worsening each year, NCSD continues to allow new residential homes to be built.

It seems the board of directors will not be happy until they have turned the Nipomo Mesa into a poor man’s Encino, with every square inch covered in crammed-together residences, complete with a huge low-income housing developments.

I hope the residents of Nipomo can mount a sweeping resistance to this disaster in the making and get enough residents to send in protests to stop the implementation of this obscene rate increase.


The first sentence should read “With a water conservation program only briefly for four years…”


The 600 acre feet that the pipeline will deliver does not even scratch the surface; not even when several years into the future it delivers 3,500 acre feet. The Mesa uses 6,000 acre feet more than the basin can sustainably deliver. Drought or no drought, the aquifer is seriously overdrawn, such that water no longer flows to the wells of its Five Cities sub basin. As a result, salt water intrusion is a very real risk and would leave 24,000 Mesa residents and the agriculture on the Mesa at serious risk.


The pipeline will deliver 3000 acrefeet; the 600 acrefeet is just in the beginning.

What most people don’t realize is that, in addition to the 2400 acft eventually delivered (which will be split up between NCSD and the other, much smaller water purveyors on the Mesa), there will be 600 acft also delivered just for NCSD’ s future real estate development needs.

As I said previously, NCSD’ s board of directors and general manager won’t be happy until a poor man’s Encino.


The Mesa needs 12,000 acre feet a year just to ‘break even’, not to mention recharging the depleted basin.

The future real estate development needs are far less important than the current water need for the existing population. The basin can only support about 4,500 acre feet drawn annually. With the 3,000 additional acre fee the basin will still be overdrawn year on year on year by 4,500 if there is no growth. Saline anyone?


30% now that is a bit steep,