PASO ROBLES GROUNDWATER BASIN (PRGWB)

All new urban and rural development and new irrigated crop production in the PRGWB (excluding the Atascadero Sub-basin) are required to offset new water use at a 1:1 ratio. New construction is required to pay water offset fees to fund projects to reduce existing water usage on other properties within the basin. A list of fees is available below under "New Construction". All new or expanded irrigated agriculture is required to obtain Agricultural Offset Clearance, described below under "Agriculture Off-Set".

 

The Board of Supervisors approved water offset fees to fund turf removal and plumbing retrofit projects as described below: 

 

  • 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 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 waterprograms@co.slo.ca.us to start your project application.

  • Option #3: Any project requesting over $10,000 needs approval from the County Board of Supervisors.

For more information on policies, fees, and programs that apply in the PRGWB, please choose one of the following options:

Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP)

On December 17, 2019, the County Board of Supervisors adopted the Paso Robles Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP). Information about the GSP is available at www.slocounty.ca.gov/sgma. The management actions are discussed in Chapter 9.

Proposed Amendments to the Paso Basin Ordinances

On June 18, 2019, the Board directed staff to consider amendments to the Countywide Water Conservation Program. 

Phase 1 Amendments - Effective December 5, 2019 (Click here to see the updated ordinance.)

  • Eliminate off-site offsets.

  • Extend the termination date for the Paso Basin water offset requirements to January 1, 2022.

  • Include a water duty factor for hemp and supplementally irrigated dry cropland in the Agricultural Offset Program.

  • Create a process to determine water duty factors for crops not specified in the Agricultural Offset Ordinance.

Phase 1.5 Amendments - Hearing dates postponed due to COVID-19. Click here to sign up to be notified when the hearings are rescheduled.

  • Update the maps of the Paso Basin and the Area of Severe Decline to be consistent with the Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP).

  • Incorporate a fallowing option into the Agricultural Offset Program for the Paso Basin.

Blue = Unchanged. Green = Added. Orange = Removed.

To see the legend on the map:

  1. Click on Layers in the bottom left hand corner.

  2. Expand the Planning layer.

  3. Expand the Impacted Groundwater Basins layer. 

Phase 2 Amendments - Timing to be determined by Phase 1.5 environmental determination.

For Agricultural Offset Program in the Paso Basin

  • Expand the definition of de minimus from 5 AFY to 25 AFY per site.

  • Extend the lookback period beyond 5 years.

  • Discuss re-allowing off-site offsets.

For Urban/Rural Water Offset Requirements

  • Revisit water offset fees and water usage assumptions in the Paso Basin.

  • Revisit the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin planning area standards prohibiting land divisions and General Plan Amendments.

  • Revisit the 1:1 offset requirement for the Nipomo Mesa.

To join the interest list to receive updates on the amendment process, please email Kylie Hensley at khensley@co.slo.ca.us.

© 2018 by County of San Luis Obispo Countywide Water Conservation Program.