Regarding the Paso Robles groundwater basin crisis: The board should adopt a policy of “first come, first served.”
Citizens and businesses that moved to the area first should have first priority to consume a reasonable amount of the available water. So, for example, if homeowners could prove they established in the area before a new megawinery, those homeowners would be entitled to all the water they needed before the winery would get a drop of water.
Each and every well and water connection should be metered and capable of computerized flow reduction or temporary disconnection, depending upon the level of the underground water basin. So, unless there is a genuine surplus of water after current users are served, there can be no more building of homes or planting of wine grapes. In fact, existing wineries should all be forced to stop watering a percentage of their existing fields until the basin is stabilized.
Sadly, I realize such a plan as I describe could never be implemented, as it would step on too many powerful toes. Just remember, though, you can’t make deals with Mother Nature.