Templeton amends water regulations to work with Santa Lucia School



Santa Lucia School's lack of potable water and its failing well prompted Templeton Community Services District (CSD) to revisit its water code and riparian water agreement process in an effort to aid the school.

At an Oct. 15 meeting, the CSD board unanimously passed an amendment to the district's water code to allow nonprofits and public-serving agencies to get an emergency connection when there is a public health, safety, sanitation, or fire issue.

The amended code will take effect 30 days after adoption.

After that, the new amendment would give Santa Lucia a couple of options. The school could either connect to the district to provide water for its students or enter into a riparian water agreement, appointing the district as its water purveyor.

At the same meeting, the CSD board approved the first reading of a water code amendment establishing the rules and procedures governing riparian water agreements. In this ordinance, each parcel receiving riparian water—water from the Salinas River—through the district would be required to have a recorded agreement and a recorded allocation of assigned units approved by the district.

"Both paths are still open for [Santa Lucia]. I have no reason to believe they won't be able to connect one way or another," CSD General Manager Jeff Briltz said.

Santa Lucia School is currently researching whether the rights to water on its property have ever been severed by a subdivision or ownership change.

"We just want to verify that they can actually assign the district the riparian agency agreement," he said.

Once the riparian agreement ordinance is adopted at the next district meeting, Briltz said he anticipates the school coming before the board with its preferred choice of action in November. Δ

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