Arroyo Grande council puts state water initiative on the ballot

July 1, 2016

tap-waterArroyo Grande voters will decide in November whether the city can acquire water from the California State Water Project. City officials say, in light of the drought, Arroyo Grande needs another water source. [Tribune]

In 1990, Arroyo Grande voters approved a ballot initiative prohibiting the city from participating in the State Water Project without obtaining voter permission. The intention of the ballot initiative was to deter sprawl. At the time, city officials feared that obtaining state water would lead to unmanageable levels of development and population increase.

When the ballot measure passed, the council promised a vote in 1992 on participation in the State Water Project. That vote never happened, though.

In 2010, the council directed staff to draft a ballot measure allowing state water purchases. That initiative never appeared on the ballot, either.

On Tuesday, the council voted unanimously to put a state water initiative on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Acting City Manager Geoff English said, if Arroyo Grande buys state water, the purchases would be temporary, as opposed to permanent additions to the city’s supply. English said Arroyo Grande would likely purchase the water from San Luis Obispo County or other local agencies that already participate in the project. Both the city of Pismo Beach and the Oceano Community Services District receive state water.

Currently, Lopez Lake is at 27.5 percent capacity, according to county figures. The lake was at 28.8 percent capacity a month ago and 36 percent capacity one year ago.

Arroyo Grande officials have been considering participating in a Pismo Beach water reclamation project and a Diablo Canyon desalination project. However, the Diablo Canyon project appears dead since PG&E has announced plans to shut down the nuclear power plant.




  1. hijinks says:

    State Water? It’s paper water you pay for whether delivered or not. Nine years out of 10 the state system is unable to deliver water and it will only get worse as the years progress. The geniuses behind the state system over estimated how much water they had, and now the chicks come home to roost.

    Arroyo Grande, don’t do this!! You’ll be sorry. As for the city council, they must be really stupid to even propose this bankrupt idea.

    Also, where is this “spare” water they think they can purchase “intermittently?” The coastal aqueduct is fully allocated — it has no spare capacity, so they’d be buying it from some local agency, but who has any actual water to sell to them?

    This makes no sense.

    (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
  2. 65buick says:

    Geez, how many times do you folks have to be told –

    Water conservation does NOT apply to development.

    Goodness gracious. Now go water that lawn.

    (8) 10 Total Votes - 9 up - 1 down
  3. easymoney says:

    What state water?
    Santa Margarita CSA 23 was being pushed by county staff (see Pavo Ogren)to buy part of Shandon’s allotment to the state water project, for “only for emergency purposes”. In fact the SOP has been buy a “drought buffer” ( buy 100% more of the allotment)to assure delivery. This past year we all saw how the water available was cut and deliveries were not made to those who did buy into this ponzi scheme. The community of Santa Margarita could see right through this scam and voted not to buy the water…
    Now county staff is pushing the Naci water (which has been under sold)on Santa Margarita as the “emergency supply”, when we all can see the water in Nacimiento Lake is woefully low, possibly a record low level for several years .
    Don’t do it…
    A real solution is to build more reservoirs and catch basins state wide to hold the water running from to the ocean for use…

    (3) 13 Total Votes - 8 up - 5 down
  4. KimNorth says:


    (7) 15 Total Votes - 11 up - 4 down
  5. Jorge Estrada says:

    This tourist weekend and there are many, 100,000 people are expected to enjoy the beaches and facilities. I wonder if there is enough water for tourism without outlawing flush toilets and free showers? This will be addressed very soon since most have already pulled out their lawns so that hotels can be built.

    (17) 23 Total Votes - 20 up - 3 down
  6. kayaknut says:

    Not sure on this just yet, but ironic the city continues to issue building permits, will not talk about a moratorium, will not talk about halting current projects that have not started, punishes current residents if they do not conserve enough and now I just received my notice of a proposed rate increase. Mayor Hill what is the true story?

    (9) 17 Total Votes - 13 up - 4 down
  7. AGDUDE says:

    Talk about putting your head in the sand…. who the hell is running the city?

    (9) 17 Total Votes - 13 up - 4 down

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