At Tuesday’s county Board of Supervisors meeting, there was consensus: We are in a drought, water levels are declining in the Paso Robles Basin, there is a short-term problem needing immediate attention and long-term changes are necessary to preserve and protect the basin.
Rural homeowners and small agricultural businesses whose wells have run dry need help. This short-term need should not be driving county ordinances creating unintended consequences to all users in the basin. In fact, the proposed ordinances will do nothing to alleviate the problem these people face.
County planning staff has been directed to craft new ordinances for discussion by supervisors at their Aug. 27 meeting. I urge the public to attend.
Paso Robles Agricultural Alliance for Groundwater Solutions was formed for lack of action to stabilize or provide supplemental water to assist the basin. It believes a water district will provide new solutions to balancing the basin and stop declines. It is not against short-term emergency ordinances, as long as they are targeted at the immediate problem and offer specific benefits.
All the facts, science and stakeholder input must be considered before any ordinance is adopted with negative impact to the vitality of the region we enjoy.