The Paso Robles Agricultural Alliance for Groundwater Solutions has submitted a petition to LAFCO to create a California Water District for the Paso Robles groundwater basin.
They want the state district because representation would be based on assessed property value. That means that a 20-acre vineyard owner would have significantly more voice than a 2-acre home owner.
Likewise, a 200-acre vineyard owner would have a significantly greater voice than the 20-acre owner.
That same 200-acre vineyard owner would also have a greater voice than a 500-acre cattle rancher because of assessed value.
Therefore, the family farms and small vineyards would have little more control over the district than the average homeowner. Only the largest vineyard owners would have a voice, and they just happen to be the biggest water users.
From my perspective, that would be putting the same people in charge that are currently displaying a total disregard for the health of the basin by planting new vineyards as fast as they can.
Can we really trust that small group to have our best interest in mind? I wouldnt bet the ranch on it. We need a local district with equitable representation for all stakeholders.