PASO ROBLES GROUNDWATER BASIN (PRGWB)
If your property is in the PRGWB per the Land Use and Building Ordinances,
then land divisions and General Plan Amendments that increase potential water demand are prohibited. All new construction and new irrigated crop production on your property is required to offset new water use at a 1:1 ratio. Existing development on your property may qualify to apply for a turf removal rebate ("cash for grass"), washing machine rebate, or free plumbing fixture retrofits.
No Land Divisions. No General Plan Amendments that Increase Water Demand.
Water Offset Fees for New Construction. New construction is required to pay water offset fees to fund projects to reduce existing water usage on other properties within the basin. Click the icon below to see the list of fees.
Agricultural Offset Application Required for New Commercial Irrigated Crops. New or expanded irrigated agriculture is required to apply for Agricultural Offset Clearance from the County Department of Planning & Building. Click the icon below to see application requirements.
Eligibility for Water Offset Programs. Water offset fees from new construction fund turf removal and plumbing retrofit projects on existing development per three options:
Option #1: Individual residences, public facilities, and commercial uses may apply for up to a $6,000 rebate for turf removal ("Cash for Grass"); a $250 rebate to upgrade an old washing machine ("Washer Rebate Program"); and free replacement of up to two toilets, two showerheads, and two faucet aerators per property ("Plumbing Retrofit Program"). The application forms for these programs are available by clicking the icons below.
Option #2: Public facilities and commercial uses may apply for up to $10,000 to fund turf removal and plumbing retrofit projects that also create a public benefit. Projects need to quantify the anticipated water savings. If interested, email email@example.com to start your project application.
Option #3: Any project requesting over $10,000 needs approval from the County Board of Supervisors.
If your property is in the PRGWB "area of severe decline" per the Land Use Ordinance,
then your property not eligible for the 5 AFY exemption for new irrigated crop production. See "Agriculture Off-Set" above for more information. Also, if you are applying for a land use permit for cannabis activities, then you are required to offset water use at a 2:1 ratio rather than 1:1.
The County Land Use Ordinance currently defines the area of severe decline within the PRGWB as the area where groundwater elevation levels dropped 50 feet or more from Spring 1997 to Spring 2013, based on groundwater level contours generated using a computer-based contouring program, which are based on groundwater elevations measured at monitoring well locations. Click here for a technical memo explaining the mapping methodology.
Groundwater Sustainability Plan
For information about the Paso Robles Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP), visit www.slocounty.ca.gov/sgma.