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City of Pismo Beach looking to replace aging well as drought concerns persist

Posted at 9:15 PM, Feb 06, 2023

California’s water supply has improved, but cities and state agencies are continuing to find ways to store much-needed water as the drought persists.

The City of Pismo Beach is looking to build a more reliable water supply while increasing incentives to cut down on water use.

“Any time we can increase our water supply, we should do it in this state,” said Pismo Beach Resident Eric Ford.

The Pismo Beach City Council will vote on replacing an aging groundwater well at Tuesday night’s meeting.

That well is located along Huber Street in Grover Beach.

“Right now, what we have is an existing well in the City of Grover Beach that has potentially gone to the end of its useful life,” said Pismo Beach Assistant City Manager Jorge Garcia.

The infrastructure upgrade ties into the Central Coast Blue recycled water project, which aims to recharge the groundwater basin in the coming years.

“We’ve run through so many droughts now, we know we’ve got to have some kind of reserve for when it gets bad,” added Ford.

To prepare for future dry years, the city is increasing financial incentives to encourage water conservation.

“What we want people to do is to make smart choices today that will benefit us into the future,” explained Garcia.

The Pismo Beach City Council will vote on an extra $50,000 in funding for water rebates which include $2 for every square foot of lawn that is replaced with drought tolerant landscaping.

The rebates will also go toward capturing stormwater.

“I think that we need to do more on collecting water and stop watching it run out to the ocean, honestly,” said Ford.

State water officials say California’s water supply is much better off than at this time last year but continue to urge caution.

“Even though we’ve had great rainfall and it’s been good for our reservoirs, we still have groundwater basins that are very depleted,” said Jeanine Jones, Interstate Resources Manager for the California Department of Water Resources.

She says improving long-term forecasting is key to managing sudden shifts from drought to flooding.

“One of the most important things is really something that we need NOAA and the National Weather Service to step up on, and that is improving precipitation forecasting at longer time scales, beyond just a short-term weather forecast.”

The state’s water resources agency says we should get a better picture of what recent rain means for water supplies later this month.