NIPOMO, Calif. -- More water woes in San Luis Obispo County, this time in the
city of Nipomo.
The Nipomo Community Services District has seen its water reserves
decline so much it had to deny several requests for emergency water.
At the past two meetings, a farmer and homeowner from outside the
district were denied access to the emergency water because there just isn't
enough to go around.
The district general manager says a homeowner was denied the
request because he wanted a LONG TERM hookup to the water system...but emergency
sales to outside residents are only allowed on a TEMPORARY basis.
The farmer was denied because the district's policy only allows
emergency sales to residences NOT FOR agricultural purposes.
"People are getting desperate--that's in relation to the fact that
we've had a number of requests now for outside water use for emergency where
folks' wells have gone dry or the production of those wells is diminished. This
past week, we caught someone hooked up to our system with a water truck stealing
water from our system."
The district sells water to outside users at a rate of $5 per 750
The district has seen its aquifer levels 30 percent lower this
spring than last and at the lowest level since the 1970s.
To alleviate this problem, the district is working on a water
pipeline to Santa Maria that should be complete in 2014.
The district met with its finance and audit committee Thursday to
undertake a rate study to determine how much the cost of the water rate will
increase once the pipeline is complete.