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Pismo Beach to explore funding options for water supply project

Pismo Beach City Hall. According to city officials, the Pismo Beach will move forward with the Central Coast Blue project and change its plans to a single-city operation.
Aidan Dillon
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Aidan Dillon
Pismo Beach City Hall.

Multiple towns in the Five Cities area of San Luis Obispo County are backing out of a project to create a new clean water supply for the region. It’s called Central Coast Blue.

In 2022, Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach and Pismo Beach banded together in hopes of creating a facility that could turn wastewater into drinking water.

“[It’s] an opportunity to really find that alternative source of water for the residents and businesses here in Pismo Beach. If a drought hits and we don’t have the water, it’s really too late to try and secure anything else,” said Pismo Beaches’ Assistant City Manager, Mike James.

The government agencies agreed to help foot the bill to help fight future droughts. But, inflation and supply chain issues have tripled the estimated cost in the past three years to more than $150 million.

Now, Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach are expected to officially withdraw from the agreement in July. State and federal grants will provide 30 to 40% of the funding for the project, but Pismo Beach is responsible for the rest of the costs.

James said the city will move forward with the project and change its plans to a single-city operation.

Cole Pressler is working to earn his B.S. in Journalism from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He is also a data and investigations reporter for Cal Poly’s Mustang News and a news reporter for KCPR 91.3 FM. He’s originally from Portland, Oregon. When he’s not in the newsroom, he likes to play guitar, watch Jeopardy! and climb trees.
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