State delivering 5% of allocated water, Arroyo Grande wants in

December 14, 2021

By KAREN VELIE

After implementing water conservation requirements and fines, the Arroyo Grande City Council recently made plans to deal with ongoing water shortages, which includes purchasing water from other agencies, recycling and buying into the state water program.

Last week, the city ordered residents to reduce their water usage or face fines that increase incrementally from $50 to $200. Depending on past usage, the city is requiring residents to lower their water use from 7% to 14%, with a goal of lowering usage by 10% citywide.

Violators can attend water school in lieu of their first fine.

Currently, the city provides Lopez Lake and groundwater to its residents, which are both in limited supply because of “extreme drought” conditions.

At a meeting several weeks ago, the council voted on plans for short-term and long-term supplemental water sources.

For short-term options, the city council voted unanimously for staff to pursue a temporary agreement to purchase water from Oceano, which cost roughly $1,800 an acre foot during the previous drought. In addition, city officials voted to pursue an agreement to purchase water from Golden State Water Company during shortages, which will require the construction of a 300 foot connection.

As for a long-term reliable water source, the council voted to continue moving forward with Central Coast Blue, a regional recycled water project. At a Phase 1 cost of $2,400 acre foot, and a Phase 2 cost of $1,800 an acre foot, the 225 to 250 acre feet of water the facility is slated to provide would likely end the city’s water shortage issues, according to city staff.

The city council also voted to pursue a ballot measure to permit the city to purchase a long-term supply of state water as a drought buffer even though state water is unreliable during drought years.

California is contracted to deliver about 4 million acre feet of water a year, but generally is able to deliver only about half that and at times only 5% or less of what it is obligated to provide.

The remaining non-existent water is called paper water, expressed in the form of water entitlement certificates. And while these only exist on paper, it’s a high-priced commodity which can be bought and traded on the open market.

In 2021, the State Water Project allocation was initially 10% of entitlements, but because of increasing dry conditions, it was lowered to 5%, according to the California Department of Water Resources. In 2022, the State Water Project is planning zero water delivery allocations.


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Ricky2

Hard to believe even politicians are stupid enough to show any interest in “state water.” Idiots!


kayaknut

It’s easy when the money they spend on this non-existent water belongs to someone else.


kevin rise

The biggest threat to our water our vineyard billionaires and large industry such as new oil Wells coming in, yet the peons get punished by our Gov. Edna valley tanks in water yet no one cares or doesn’t have the time to care because peons have to make a living.


kayaknut

Time for a building moratorium and to stop punishing existing customers while the city continues to deplete an already low supply by adding more users.


retiredpoliceofficer

How come we never hear about agricultural use of water? What percentage of Arroyo Grande water goes to agricultural use? If it all comes from wells are those wells taping into water that belongs to AG.?


The new AG CIty Manager McDonald isn’t serious about water conservation. She illegally issued a permit for a residence to be used as a plant nursery (yes in a residential area).

Unless she’s moved recently she lives in Atascadero. I think City Manages should live in the cities where they work,


kevin rise

Agreed. So many new wine plantations in Paso, plans for mega resorts and over development. Adelaide keeps planting more vineyards in a drought. Yet Peschong and Arnold say nothing, nor does city council. People are so ideologically divided it’s sick yet ignore facts.


jimmy_me

It’s agriculture or subdivisions. Take your pick.