The Board of Supervisors and the county of San Luis Obispo are responsible for the deterioration of the Paso Robles water basin. The mission statement of the Board of Supervisors states that it “is committed to the implementation of such policies and the provision of such services that will enhance the economic, environmental and social quality of life in San Luis Obispo County.”
There are reports covering more than 30 years, reflecting water level declines in the basin. These declines have accelerated in the past 15 years and are anticipated to get much worse. Armed with this knowledge, the supervisors did nothing to either slow the growth or augment the water supply. To this day, the supervisors refuse to restrict large wells and ag ponds for fear of legal action by the large vineyards.
We need to organize the 6,000 plus individual rural well owners — not necessarily to sue — but to speak with a loud enough voice that the supervisors hear us!
The vineyards didn’t cause the problem, but we need their involvement to resolve it.