Hurdles with Groundwater Basin District at Paso Robles

A  proposal to form a hybrid board for the Paso Robles groundwater basin district hit a hurdle.

Some homeowners in Paso Robles say water has always been a challenge. Homeowner Jay Packer, said "There has been an issue since the drought started and since that time there has been a lot of finger-pointing."

Packer said "We certainly would like to see other methods aside from regulating and metering."

SLO County supervisor, Frank Mechem, said "I'd  like to see people in the north of our  county that overly the basin manage the basin.

The basin has been in decline for several years.

San Luis Obispo County supervisor,  Frank Mecham, sai after making a trip to Sacramento, lawmakers learned their plans have stalled. State assemblyman Katcho Achadjian introduced a bill that would allow hybrid representation, now there are questions about the legality of the bill.

Achadjian said, "We know there are some red flags and challenges. Mainly it's based on the constitution and the way the hybrid works."  

In November, there will be a water bond issue on the ballot. If  the water bond passes, and if  areas that are facing drought, don't   have water management in place they won't be qualified for any funding.

The hybrid board structure was a compromise between two groups. The board would be a hybrid of homeowners and large landowners who use water for agriculture.

Frank Mecham said "There is a great deal of difference between them, so they looked into a hybrid proposal to look into a hybrid district and that's never been done so it makes everybody nervous up in Sacramento."

If a water district isn't formed, Mecham said the county will have to step in and if the county doesn't take charge, the state will.

The assemblyman will hear from the legislative counsel in the next week on whether or not the bill is legal, the groups will then move forward with filing a petition with the local agency formation commission.

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