In 1954, San Luis Obispo County officials gave away Lake Nacimiento, which would become the region's biggest reservoir, to Monterey County. Salinas Valley farmers now use the reservoir to store water and release it for irrigation.
San Luis Obispo County’s reservoirs have seen an uptick following a series of recent storms. Here’s a look at how the following reservoirs are doing as of Thursday, February 23, 2017, according to the San Luis Obispo County Public Works Department.
Images captured by Landsat 8, which launched atop an Atlas V rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County, show how much winter rains have filled Lake San Antonio in Monterey County and Lake Nacimiento in San Luis Obispo and Monterey Counties, as of January 30, 2017.
After five years of dry conditions, January 2017 was the rainiest in two decades, but meteorologists and state and local officials say it’s far too premature to say the drought — and the water conservation measures that have come with it — are over. In fact, many say preserving resources should remain a priority, whether or not Gov. Jerry Brown’s emergency declaration stays in place.
Paso Robles City Council members voted Tuesday to form a groundwater sustainability agency that will be accountable for managing basin water within the city’s jurisdiction. The agency was created in response to the state Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which requires management of basins in overdraft.
Water levels at Lopez Lake have dropped so drastically because of California’s drought that the sensor recording the elevation is — once again — above water. San Luis Obispo County Public Works is expected to remedy the problem next week, but in the meantime, lake levels have to be measured by hand.
The Arroyo Grande City Council approved a new set of “triggers” for water shortage emergencies at its meeting Tuesday night that would require residents to conserve an additional 5 percent more water than their current targets, as well as instate a building moratorium on new development. But the moratorium will not go into effect until Lopez Lake water levels fall below 10,000 acre feet.
The Arroyo Grande City Council approved increases of 11 percent and 10 percent to its water and sewage rates respectively at its meeting Tuesday night, meaning residents will soon be paying about $16 more on their bimonthly water bills.
A Santa Barbara-based water group has sued San Luis Obispo County saying it issued three agricultural well permits in the Paso Robles groundwater basin, including one to Justin Vineyards, without the proper environmental review.