Water district votes to ban export of water from the Paso Basin
–At a regular meeting of the Estrella-El Pomar-Creston Water District, Directors voted 5 to 0 to publicly reaffirm the district’s position on export of water. District board members acknowledged they were aware of the potential of an initiative process to ban export of water from groundwater basins in San Luis Obispo County.
During the public comment period, members of the audience, many who are members or represent companies who are members of the EPC WD, expressed their support of banning all export of water from County groundwater basins. Dana Merrill, President of the Board of the EPC WD said, “banning export of water is consistent with the district’s intentions and is consistent with the interests of the District’s Directors and the District’s membership at large.” Additionally, President Merrill said he was “personally aware of many landowners not present at the meeting that were wholeheartedly in support of no export of water.” His reasoning was stated as, “Property owners have invested considerable expense in their vineyards and/or agricultural activities and to export water undermines this investment.”
The full text of the statement voted on by the Directors of the EPC Water District is presented below:
“The EPC Water District is aware of a potential initiative campaign coming forward that would prevent export of groundwater from the Paso Robles groundwater basin.The EPC Water District supports restrictions that would prevent the export of Water from our Basin.
Export of water from the basin has been consistently opposed by the EPC Water District and its members. Our charter as defined by LAFCO, bans the export of water from our basin. The State SGMA Law mandates a sustainable basin and export of water would be contrary to that requirement. Additionally, the county has a robust ordinance that severely restricts the export of water.
The EPC Water District welcomes additional efforts to strengthen restrictions and prevent the exportation of groundwater from the Paso Robles groundwater basin.”
The EPC Water District Board intends to stay engaged in this discussion of export of water from our Basin and we look forward to supporting additional measures that would restrict the exportation of groundwater from our basin.