Atascadero requests more Lake Nacimiento water

September 24, 2015

atascadero_sign_photoAtascadero is joining the cities of Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo in requesting more water from Lake Nacimiento.

The cities have drafted a joint letter to San Luis Obispo County asking that water currently allotted to the cities as reserves be released for yearly use. The Atascadero Mutual Water Co. (AMWC) Board approved of the letter on Wednesday.

The Templeton Community Services District may also sign onto the request. It will discuss the issue at an October board meeting.

Likewise, the county board of supervisors could request more water for Cayucos.

The cities and communities involved in the Nacimiento Water Project have a combined yearly allotment of 15,750 acre feet of water. They are currently using 9,655 acre feet, leaving an annual reserve of 6,095 acre feet.

Due to the drought, Lake Nacimieto is currently at 21 percent capacity. If the county were to release all of the reserve water, the cities and communities would gain access to less than 8 percent of what remains of the lake. [KSBY]

San Luis Obispo is requesting an additional 2,130 acre feet per year at a cost of about $377,000. AMWC is asking for an additional 1,263 acre feet per year at a cost of approximately $228,000 annually, according to an AMWC staff report.

San Luis Obispo currently receives 3,380 acre feet per year from Lake Nacimiento. AMWC gets 2,000 acre feet, according to the staff report.

Paso Robles is requesting an additional 2,532 acre feet. It currently receives 4,000 acre feet.

Jorge Estrada

As I read the signed agreement by AMWC John Neil, County Council but NOT by the Board of Supv, the County proposes using THEIR Naci water and using AMWC as a flow through treament before delivering as much as 175 Acre-Feet per year of Emergency Water to Santa Margarita. This will be an additional cost during the emergency period, delivered by the Santa Margarita infrastructure funded with a $2,000,000 grant..So when someone blows the whistle and if the agreement is fully approved, all Santa Margaritans will pay the sum of their rate plus the calculated AMWC expenses and any additional expenses for this benefit. To think this through, what IF the State, not our choice, were to withdraw the exception granted to the Santa Margarita substandard well #4 because with a AWMC connection option, Well #4 is no longer the only town sustaining option? A serious IF to consider because more expense is like sugar to Gov. Santa Margaritans would then have to dig even deeper into their funding dollars for the perminant AMWC service. Some locals would have preferred a new well and with better relations with the surrounding Ranch, this sound option may have been afforded.


When it comes to buying water, the devil is in the details.

The water SLO wants, 2130/acft, will cost SLO $177/acft.

The water AMOC wants, 2163/acft, will cost AMOC $181/acft.

However, there are many, many costs involved with buying and selling water. The article does not state whether these are the complete costs of water SLO will sell, or whether other important necessities is included in the cost/acft.

Does the stated cost include–but are not limited to:

***Pumping costs for delivery? Electricity is often used for water delivery, and electricity is very pricey, It can really jack up the cost/acft. Who pays for delivery? How is the delivery accomplished?

***Legal costs for the agreement? Again, this can be a very pricey part of the bargain.

***How much of the requested water will actually be available? Delivered?

***Does the contract state what happens if–as is anticipated–there is a mega-El Nino? Will the contractee still be required to pay for the water?

…and more….


Currently there is a pipeline being constructed from Atascadero to Santa Margarita that is to provide water in case of EMERGENCY only.

The construction of the pipeline and all associated costs were ENTIRELY paid for by grant money.

If the pipeline is ever invoked then Santa Margarita rate payers will not only have to continue to pay their current minimum CSA23 rate (and get no water for that) but will have to also pay Atascadero Mutual Water Company at a rate much higher than the current rate.

The community of Santa Margarita is entirely dependent on ground water from different county maintained wells. If there was, say a fire, or an oil train spill/explosion that impacted the local water source then the emergency pipeline would be turned on then and only then.


So, they chose to not participate in the Naciemento Pipeline when the rest of us were put in the hole for this, had our rates jacked up to pay all the incurred costs while they sat back and said NO, we don;t want any Naciemento ater because we can buy it cheaper off the suckers down the road. Nice. Go to the City of SLO/County of SLO and lay a pipeline from Santa Margarita Lake, build a water treatment plant and pay for your own water. Oh, and by the way, where did the money from the grant come from? I bet the taxpapers! Rights?


You are right about grant money SLOBIRD, it does ultimately come from a taxpayer somewhere.

Isn’t it odd that government always claims to be broke but then they ALWAYS find money for salary/benefit increases and their pet projects.

As far as the Atascadero to Santa Margarita emergency water pipe line it is entirely possible that there is an ulterior motive yet to be discovered.

Maybe something to do with the Santa Margarita Ranch?

Mr. Holly

I will probably be those $20,000 water meters that the AMWC would want to sell if they were going to deliver the water.


I do not understand ATascaadero asking for my water, Thry are giving water to Santa Maragarita. Santa Margarita is a County District, why does Atascadero have to supply them with water and then buy more for $228,000 whihc will be paid the the AMWC property owners. Why isn’t the County doing a better job of providing water to their districts, oh yea, I forgot, they are too busy screwing the property owners out of Paso area.