Supervisors set to vote on drought proclamation for SLO Co.

LOPEZ LAKE PIC october 2020.PNG
Posted at 7:41 AM, Jul 13, 2021

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will vote on whether to pass their own drought proclamation.

Most local lakes and reservoirs are under 40 percent capacity and will keep losing water, according to Supervisor and Board Chair Lynn Compton.

"We've had back-to-back drought years and so all of our reservoirs are very low," she said.

Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom visited Lopez Lake and signed an emergency drought proclamation.

"So by declaring a State of Emergency, with the governor signing on to that, that allows our growers to apply for aid mutual aid and financial aid for their position,” Compton said.

A county proclamation of local drought emergency is on the board’s agenda Tuesday.

"It's a symbolic effort but it does trigger them different financial programs that are available by doing that, that wouldn't be available without proclamation of drought disaster," she added.

Governor Newsom asked Californians to voluntarily reduce their water intake by 15 percent. Cities like Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach and Grover Beach already have instituted water restrictions and some Santa Barbara County cities, like Lompoc, Buellton and Solvang, have as well.

"When water restrictions come into place, they get cut back so it affects agricultural grapes and strawberries or economic crops or modern types of crops, but also affects people that have wells and if you live in the unincorporated area,” Compton said.

That means you are not part of a community water system and if you have a well, the lower the water tables, the deeper you have to drill.

Compton says that’s expensive, too.

The proclamation would be issued for areas within the county, but not for a specific city.