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Nipomo sees minor increase in groundwater level despite winter s - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Nipomo sees minor increase in groundwater level despite winter storms

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While many places in California are no longer in a drought, the Nipomo Community Services District says its groundwater levels are still severely lacking. 

After the heavy winter rains, water providers anticipated a much fuller groundwater basin, but they say it barely increased and they don't know why. Now, geohydrologists are investigating. 

"The district and the community, with all of the rain we had, anticipated that the key well index would show a significant increase and we only received a two-foot bump," said Mario Iglesias, Nipomo CSD General Manager.

Last year, the groundwater basin measured 14.2 feet. This year, it measured 15.6 feet.

The district would like to be above 31.5 feet.

"So we've got a long way to go before we consider ourselves normal or safe in the groundwater basin," Iglesias said.

Officials say the levels are dangerously close to sea water intrusion.

So for now, Nipomo will remain under Stage 4 water restrictions.

"We ask the community to simply be aware of the consumption and use the water wisely," Iglesias said.

Many Nipomo residents continue to do just that.

"When we take showers, we take a five-gallon bucket and we take that and go water the plants," said Shelli Palma, Nipomo resident.

Linda Betts just took out three trees, her grass and laid down new mulch.

"Everyone on this street has drought-tolerant landscaping. They just took out their grass across the street, they have rocks and water-tolerant plants. You don't even have to water," she said. "We are very conscientious of not using the water. It's expensive."

Residents are asked to use the minimum amount of water necessary

For the third year, the district is also not permitting any new water connections.

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