Praise and thanks go to Supervisors Patterson, Gibson and Hill for heeding the pleas of rural North County residents to protect their water supply from depletion. The three supervisors voted to ban further subdivision in the rural Paso groundwater basin.
We’ve all heard the numbers: the basin is in decline (more going out than coming in); Agriculture in the basin uses more than five times more water than rural residents, even though rural residential acreage may be twice the total acreage as planted in grapes. The problem of declining water levels has been studied for years. Everyone agrees that the prohibition of subdivision is a small beginning to fix the problem. Strong opposition comes from wine and agriculture interests, yet they offer no mandatory measures to curb agriculture’s water use.
It was a strong, principled vote to protect irreplaceable water supplies.