County supervisors vote for local control of basins

May 25, 2016

Vineyard Ancient Peaks

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 Tuesday to have the county fund the first phase of compliance with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 (SGMA).

California law requires that water basins be sustainably managed by local agencies or risk intervention by state water officials. After supervisors Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson’s plan for a proposed Paso Robles Groundwater basin district failed, both said they wanted to hand management of the Paso Robles basin over to the state.

However, the board agreed Tuesday to have the county’s flood control district fund the $1,257,920 in anticipated cost to complete phase one for the county’s five basins that are required to comply with SGMA.

The goal is to have the SIGMA-identified basins become sustainable, basically through increasing the water supply or by conserving water.

There are five basins, of 22 in the county, that are considered in medium to high overdraft and are required to have a groundwater sustainability agency in place by June 30, 2017. Phase one includes negotiating funding agreements and forming agencies for users of each basin.

In phase two, the agency formed in phase one will develop basin sustainability goals and procedures for getting there. It is anticipated that the various users of each basin, as determined in phase one, will fund phase two.

“There is a lot of work ahead, but I am confident with collaboration we can achieve sustainability,” said Wade Horton, SLO County’s public works director. “It is good news moving forward.”

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Had the majority listened to Supervisor Arnold in the first place we would have saved hundreds of thousands, taxpayer funds, plus the time and energy wasted just to hear from affected public. This is a loud and clear acknowledgement that the County, State and Feds need to better manage our current tax dollars. The next phase will be to fine tune all spending into direct benefits like infrastructure and public safety. Those smart people, packing an arm full of new study ideas, will need to pick up and use a real shovel before they get paid.

You haven’t figured it out yet, government is not interested in doing what is best for the majority, but often in what best for the minority and especially when the minority makes big $$$$ contributions to their election campaigns

Bruce and Adam: Hey imagine that! You actually listened. But only after being hit over the head with an overwhelming no vote on Bruce’s plan to deflect from his own district’s woes. Enough with your threats to the county. You have made this county a toilet by being a couple of turds. *Flush!

Actually, how Phase 2 is to be paid for was not determined. It seems there is desire to have others in the basins share the cost. In fact, it was discussed that maybe the City of Paso would provide a staff member…more fox guarding the henhouse? If the County bears the total costs, it will require 8 new employees and millions of dollars a year to comply countywide. The Board just voted to not deal with that until later, after the primary.