Drought increases likelihood of Nipomo water rate hike

Apr 21, 2014

Residents of Nipomo could face higher water rates as the ongoing drought continues to take a toll on groundwater reserves.

The major water purveyors for in the area, including the Nipomo Community Resources District (NCRD), have agreed to reduce their pumping rate by 30 percent should the basin reach "severe water shortage" conditions—a specific term defined by a court-appointed group. 

NCRD General Manager Michael LeBrun says they'll have few options should they reach that low water mark.

"In order for the district to reduce its pumping, we have to reduce the demand, and that is where we get to what I think most interests our customers—and maybe your listeners—rates," said LeBrun. "Our board is considering adding—if I may, a drought premium—on top of our current rate structure, should we get into severe shortage conditions."

Two public workshops will be held on May 5. The NCRD will then take the information collected from public input and address the matter at its meeting on May 14.