February 7, 2023
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Editorial: Common sense takes hold in Paso water debate


A new weather pattern is giving the Central Coast its best opportunity for meaningful rainfall in a couple of years.

But even better news is growing support for options that might provide longer-term solutions to the state’s extreme water deficit. In San Luis Obispo County, the Board of Supervisors and the city of Paso Robles have taken the first steps toward endorsing the idea of a special district that could finance solutions to the dire shortage of groundwater in parts of North SLO County.

We were pleased to see Supervisors Frank Mecham, Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson vote in favor of a platform policy statement that favors a special district to solve the problems in the Paso Robles groundwater basin.

We’re also pleased to see former foes PRO Water Equity and the Paso Robles Agricultural Alliance for Groundwater Solutions team up to support the municipal and county votes, which will now need legislative action in Sacramento.

Ultimately, however, the solution lies in a bit of cooperation from the weather and the implementation of new technology to both measure supply and dramatically improve the management of demand for water. Some people don’t like these solutions because they mean accountability and almost certainly much higher costs for inefficient users.

But when the alternatives are expensive and ineffective litigation and rain dances, the idea of putting technology to work to better allocate water resources doesn’t sound too bad at all.  Meanwhile, it’s gratifying to see that many of the parties in North SLO County are taking a common-sense approach to a thorny situation.