Letters to the Editor

We paid for but hardly use Nacimiento water

Mr. Phil Dirkx’s column regarding Nacimiento water (“Paso Robles’ access to Nacimiento water was a turbulent process,” Dec. 3) illustrates how earlier passive politicians, apathetic voters and a lethargic news media have resulted in costing today’s countywide voters millions in taxes and higher water fees. For more than 50 years, San Luis Obispo County had no means of transporting Nacimiento water beyond the shoreline.

Regarding San Luis Obispo County’s, “exclusive rights to 17,500 acre-feet of water per year from Nacimiento Lake”: This allotment came about as a legal settlement with Monterey County. San Luis Obispo County obtained annual rights to 5 percent of the initial capacity estimate of the Nacimiento reservoir in exchange for paying a portion of the annual cost to maintain the then newly constructed San Antonio reservoir.

SLO County taxpayers likely have now repaid Monterey County for much if not the entire initial construction cost of the Nacimiento reservoir dam. Meanwhile, the people of this county have consumed a trickle of Nacimiento water.

There are current issues regarding a pipeline to transfer water by Monterey County out of Nacimiento Lake and into San Antionio Lake that are poorly reported in this county. The Nacimiento reservoir saga deserves more attention than one overview by Mr. Dirkx.

Frank Mckee, Paso Robles

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