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Oceano will only negotiate with Arroyo and Grover about leasing extra water

The Oceano services district has decided to negotiate only with neighboring Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach about potentially leasing its surplus water.

The district’s Board of Trustees recently authorized staff to only discuss the issue with those two South County cities because some other local governments and individuals have contacted the district about getting surplus water from Oceano. The district’s staff sought direction from the board on how to proceed.

Oceano’s services district uses about 1,000 acre feet of water per year, getting it from ground sources, the State Water Project, and Lopez Lake.

The district’s allocation of ground water is 900 acre feet, but it has used 300 to 400 acre feet in many years, according a report by Arnie Dowdy, the interim general manager. The reasons for not using all of that ground water allocation are poor quality water, treatment and pumping costs, and well malfunctions. The district tends to have excess state water, which is typically of good quality, Dowdy said.

The city of Arroyo Grande has formally expressed interest in entering into a water agreement with Oceano, but discussions on a possible lease still need to take place for it to happen, Dowdy said. The district currently provides water service to a subdivision located east of Arroyo Grande.

Dowdy said that a shared pipeline from Lopez Lake makes it feasible to transfer any surplus water to Grover Beach and Arroyo Grande.

--Nick Wilson

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