New water restrictions and penalties are set to impact more than 13,000 people who live in Grover Beach.
New projections show that Grover Beach could face a water supply shortfall in two years.
The city is now taking action to make sure that supply meets demand.
The Grover Beach City Council approved a citywide, mandatory 20 percent cutback in water use at its meeting Tuesday night.
“We are facing a considerable supply shortage in the near future and so we need to act immediately to correct course,” said Grover Beach City Councilwoman Anna Miller.
The city was already under a 10 percent conservation mandate approved in May, without penalties.
“Based on four months of production records, the city has achieved a 5.2 percent reduction in water demand compared to last year,” said Public Works Director Gregory Ray.
With stage 3 restrictions, come penalties for excess water use.
A warning letter comes with the first violation. The second comes with a $100 penalty and the third, a $200 penalty.
The cost climbs to $500 thereafter.
“I’m very conservative with my water and always have been,” said Grover Beach resident Cathryn Sells.
Some residents say they have already cut back on water use and are raising concerns that they won’t be able to cut back much more.
“I don’t know how I did it when you came out with restrictions in 2014. I managed to keep it down but generally, I use one or two units, I live alone,” said Cathryn. “So, is there any consideration for people who are doing all they can and have been for years?”
The new restrictions were prompted by projections showing a shortfall in water supply if drought conditions don’t improve.
This water year and 2023 were balanced out by extra water from Lopez Lake.
In the 2024 water year, there is a projected supply of 1,020 acre feet of water. That’s short of projected demand of 1,350 acre feet.
The restrictions take effect immediately, but it could take a few months before violation letters go out.
Grover Beach also approved a joint powers agreement for the Central Coast Blue water recycling project.
The project has the potential to provide 900 acre-feet of additional water per year.