Letter to the Editor

It doesn’t hold water

Paso RoblesJuly 25, 2013 

Regarding the July 21 Viewpoint by Jerry Reaugh:

Mr. Reaugh effectively summarizes many problems facing the Paso Robles groundwater basin and proposes, per current consensus, that some sort of governing water district is necessary.

However, his statement that the Paso Robles Agriculture Alliance for Groundwater Solutions has determined a California Water District is best suited to meet the needs of all basin users is both self-serving and offensive to the more than 6,000 rural residences in the basin that are entirely dependent upon individual water wells. If the basic structure of a California Water District requires, as Mr. Reaugh states, “voting proportional to land ownership,” then his construct is inherently unsuited to the population distribution within the Paso Robles groundwater basin.

In the basin, the typical rural residence is situated on a 2- to 10-acre parcel, with one or two dwellings per parcel; each parcel or residence must be provided fair representation according to Water Code 106, which prioritizes domestic use of water. A genuinely balanced approach that satisfies the needs of all parties should be the primary goal of the basin’s water allocation.

Clearly, some sort of a water district, legislated in California, is indicated, but hopefully it will not be a water district per Mr. Reaugh’s definition.

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