Pismo Beach will let SLO County take control of its portion of groundwater basin

Pismo Beach
Pismo Beach jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Pismo Beach won’t join Arroyo Grande in managing the unregulated area of the Santa Maria groundwater basin.

The Pismo Beach City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to let San Luis Obispo County take control of the 470-acre area of the basin within city limits, rather than form its own groundwater sustainability agency.

The state’s Sustainability Groundwater Management Act requires the formation of GSAs to monitor and plan for how they will make state basins sustainable by 2020. Much of the Santa Maria basin is already managed through court-appointed groups, but several small fringe areas remain unmanaged.

Arroyo Grande on March 28 decided to form its own GSA to manage its area, while the Nipomo Community Services District voted March 22 to cede its control to the county.

Pismo Beach is mostly built out and has no plans to use the small bit of fringe land to pump more water any time in the future, said Ben Fine, the city’s public works director. Because of that, and the high cost of forming a GSA, the council decided to let the county be the lead agency.

“We basically don’t draw any water from it, the county is going to do theirs anyway — might as well let them do it and figure out what our share is so we can save a lot of money,” Mayor Ed Waage said. “There’s really no impact to the city that I can see.”

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928, @kaytyleslie

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