Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

Geocortex Essentials/SLO CO

San Luis Obispo County officials adopted a management plan for a portion of the county’s groundwater Tuesday. It’s a plan required under California’s 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act—or SGMA—a law that, for the first time in California’s history, placed rules on the use of groundwater, which supplies up to two-thirds of the state’s fresh water. The Paso Robles subbasin is one of the state’s most depleted underground water sources, after decades of overuse and mismanagement.

Jeremy P. Jacobs/E&E News

Where does the Central Coast get its water, our most fundamental of needs? Some comes in the form of rain filling up local reservoirs; some from the State Water Project, a long system of pipes and canals that carry melted snow from the Sierra Nevada mountains to the central and southern part of the state. And a significant amount comes from underground, pumped up via wells.

Until just four years ago, groundwater was totally unregulated in California. But extended droughts made it clear that Californians needed to figure how to manage the underground water supply.

County of San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo County’s public works department is looking at changing the boundary of the Los Osos Valley Groundwater Basin, considered by the state to be in critical overdraft. That means the state’s recent groundwater management law, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), requires the 11-square-mile underground water source to be stringently managed and conserved, and curtails unregulated pumping. 

Thursday the San Luis Obispo local agency formation commission - better known as LAFCO - voted in favor of an application to form a new water district in the Paso Robles Area. In a five-to-two vote, the LAFCO commissioners approved the formation of the Estrella-El Pomar-Creston Water District, or EPC for short.

LAFCO

The San Luis Obispo Local Agency Formation Commission, better known as LAFCO, voted Thursday in favor of an application to form a new new, 40,000-acre water district in the Paso Robles area.

Local government roundup: 04/03/2017

Apr 3, 2017

A main focus at Tuesday’s San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors meeting will concern groundwater basins and alleged violations of state law by some of the supervisors.

The allegations stem from the March 7 board meeting during which - without any prior public notice or discussion - Supervisor Arnold made a motion for the county to become the agency responsible for managing the area's groundwater basins. Supervisors Peschong and Compton’s supporting votes passed the motion that significantly changed policy. 

Los Osos Groundwater Basin 2015 Annual Report

San Luis Obispo county officials will hold a public hearing on the topic of groundwater basin management after a recent vote provoked allegations of Brown Act violations.

Paso Robles Groundwater Management Plan

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) - passed into law in 2014 - for the first time requires organized management of the state's underground reservoirs of fresh water. It provides a framework for creating new governing agencies to do so,  and requires those agencies to create, maintain and enforce sustainable management plans.

Greta Mart/KCBX

On Central Coast county government agendas this week, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors will hold a hearing on the Phillips 66 Rail Spur project set to go before the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors on March 13, next Monday. Santa Barbara officials are urging their San Luis Obispo counterparts to reject a Phillips 66 appeal of the 2016 San Luis Obispo Planning Commission decision to deny the project.