The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 requires the formation of local groundwater sustainability agencies that must assess conditions in their local basins and adopt locally-based management plans. The act provides substantial time – 20 years – for GSAs to implement and achieve long-term groundwater sustainability. It protects existing surface water and groundwater rights and does not impact current drought response measures.
Our task in Paso Robles is to create our local GSA’s. According to the SGMA, GSAs must self-identify by June 30, 2017. We need to create a locally-controlled public water district with a nine-member board that consists of six landowners who must own land and live in or nearby the Basin plus three at-large members who must be registered voters within the proposed district boundaries and must live in the Basin.
The question for tonight is who should be on that nine-member board. This hybrid governance structure must represent the rural residents, ranchers, farmers, and vineyard owners in the Basin. It must also use evidence-based management in designing the 20 year plan for the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin.