As I read about all the new developments planned for this county—three in Avila, one in Pismo, a development off Tank Farm Road, Cal Poly’s campus and elsewhere—I really have to ask, are the developers in denial about our water issues??
The Central Coast is said to be ground zero in the drought in California, with the least amount of comparative rainfall in the whole state.
Do these developers think the drought is going away? Jan Marx said the city of San Luis Obispo has 7.5 years of water in a worst-case scenario before any conservation measures need be taken (2014 statement). I doubt that very much! Right now Californians are being urged to brown out their lawns and cut back at least 25 percent in water consumption. (We Cambrians, by the way, are the champions of water conservation in the state). It will not be easy.
I understand what motivates developers—money, but also, at times, wanting to improve their communities. Only a small percentage of this county is in actual development and it looks like a wide-open opportunity for Southern California and Bay Area investors.
But a time may come when the county starts looking like a lot of others in California—sprawling, traffic-choked, etc. Besides, it makes absolutely no sense to want to develop at this juncture simply because no one knows if this drought will persist. (And I’ll bet dollars to donuts that it could very well do so.)
I recently authored a statement about who (and why) these violators should be fined $10,000 for water wastage (since the Governor in his wisdom doesn’t know yet).
Email me at email@example.com if you agree or disagree with what I just wrote.
-- William L. Seavey - Cambria