On October 27, 2015, the Board of Supervisors adopted Resolution 2015-288, which established the Countywide Water Conservation Program (CWWCP) in response to the declining water levels in the Nipomo Mesa (part of Santa Maria Groundwater Basin), Los Osos Groundwater Basin, and the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin (PRGWB). A key strategy of the CWWCP is to ensure that all new construction and new or expanded agriculture will offset its predicted water use by reducing existing water use on other properties within the same water basin.
On June 18, 2019, the Board of Supervisors directed staff to consider amendments to the Countywide Water Conservation Program.
Phase 1 amendments, authorized in November 2019, extended the termination date of the Paso Basin ordinances to January 1, 2022 and added water duty factors to the Agricultural Offset Ordinance.
Phase 1.5 proposed amendments would update the Paso Basin and Area of Severe Decline maps to be consistent with the Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) and incorporate a fallowing option into the Agricultural Offset Program. This item is scheduled for June 11 Planning Commission hearing and August 18 Board of Supervisors hearing.
Phase 2 proposed amendments would expand the 5 AFY Agricultural Offset Exemption to 25 AFY, extend the lookback period for the Agricultural Offset Program, consider re-allowing off-site Agricultural Offset Clearances, and revisit the planning area standards and water offset requirements for new development in the Paso Basin and Nipomo Mesa.
Each of the three groundwater basin areas has specific policies that apply.
For more information on the policies and programs that apply to each of the groundwater basin areas, please choose one of the following: