San Luis Obispo County water officials will hold an open house Wednesday evening in Paso Robles to update the public on efforts to stabilize the Paso Robles groundwater basin.
The event will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Estrella Warbirds Museum at 4251 Dry Creek Road, Paso Robles. It is sponsored by the county Flood Control and Water Conservation District and the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin Advisory Committee.
The meeting is intended to be an opportunity for the public to learn about the various efforts to stabilize dwindling aquifer levels in the basin, find out how to get involved and ask questions of county and state water officials.
“There will be an overview presentation from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for those who would like to hear how all the public efforts fit together, followed by an informal open house from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for those who would like to ask questions of county and state staff one on one,” said Courtney Howard, a water resources engineer with the county Public Works Department who is coordinating the Paso basin efforts.
The overview session will include welcoming remarks from North County Supervisors Debbie Arnold and Frank Mecham whose districts cover the Paso basin as well as Sue Luft, chairwoman of the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin Advisory Committee.
The open house portion of the meeting will be an opportunity for the public to ask questions about efforts to form a water management district for the Paso basin and about a new state law, called the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which requires that troubled aquifers, like the Paso basin, have a management agency in place by 2017 and a management plan in place by 2020.
The Paso Robles basin is facing a crisis in which water levels have plunged more than 70 feet in many areas and a drop of another 70 feet is predicted by 2040. Dozens of rural homeowners have reported having to drill new, deeper wells to replace shallower ones that have gone dry.