The Nipomo Community Services District will once again process new applications for water service.
The district had placed a moratorium on water hookups last June after local property owners voted against paying $26 million to build a water pipeline from Santa Maria.
District officials maintain that additional water is necessary to reduce over-pumping of Nipomo’s only source of water, an underground aquifer.
The board voted unanimously on Wednesday to again start processing new applications for water service, according to a news release from the district. The change went into effect immediately.
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However, the board voted to suspend — not repeal — its previous action, which gives it "flexibility to re-establish the previous policy (of no new water connections) should the circumstances for delivering supplemental water to the area change in the coming months,” according to the district.
The district has put the first phase of a revised pipeline project out to bid and could award a contract in April. The revised project would be built in phases.
The first phase, estimated to cost $14.1 million, would connect a pipeline to Santa Maria’s water system, install it across the Santa Maria River and connect to the community’s water system. Two other phases of the project are planned to increase the pipeline’s capacity.