The Atascadero City Council voted Feb. 26 to ask that the Atascadero sub-basin be excluded from plans drawn up for a proposed water district in North County.
The Paso Robles Basin Water District, a proposed management body that’s currently going through the process of potential government approval, has been drawn up in the wake of declining groundwater levels in the sprawling Paso Robles Groundwater Basin. The water levels, and the proposed district, have been a hot topic. Underneath it all sits one technical specification important for Atascadero: The Atascadero sub-basin, from which the city draws its water, is a geologically separate entity, even though it’s part of the larger basin. As water levels have declined in most areas of the basin, Atascadero’s have remained stable, even increasing at times.
“What’s happening here doesn’t essentially affect what’s happening in Paso, and vice-versa,” said John Neil, general manager of the Atascadero Mutual Water Company (AMWC).
The company’s board of directors had drawn up language to oppose the sub-basin’s initial inclusion in the water district boundaries, which the City Council formally improved on Feb. 25. But since the issue came up, the AMWC board and proponents of the water district worked out a new boundary, which excludes the sub-basin, separating it from the rest of the basin by the Rinconada Fault—making the City Council vote a precautionary measure, if anything.
-- Melody DeMeritt - former city council member, Morro Bay