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Mandatory water cutbacks ending in Arroyo Grande as Lopez Lake spills

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Posted at 9:49 PM, Mar 28, 2023

More cities are lifting water restrictions after all this rain.

The Arroyo Grande City Council has voted to end mandatory water cutbacks and penalties that have been in place since October 2021.

Lopez Lake is completely full and continues to spill over for the first time since 1998 which is great news for the Five Cities’ water supply.

“There seems to be a glut of water right now, that’s a good thing. Who knows how long it’ll last though,” said John Schmeiser, who lives in Arroyo Grande.

Full lake levels prompted the Arroyo Grande City Council to lift stage 1 drought restrictions on Tuesday evening.

“Not only is Lopez completely full, but our groundwater is also recharging as well,” said Arroyo Grande City Manager Whitney McDonald, who does not anticipate water restrictions to return any time in the near future.

“With that amount of rain and that amount of water in Lopez, we’re likely to not be in a similar situation for at least five years,” said McDonald.

The city has returned to what’s considered a normal water supply--meaning that mandatory water use cutbacks and financial penalties on your water bills are going away.

“The bill puts the fear into you and then you start thinking about it a little more,” said Schmeiser.

The Pismo Beach City Council also voted to end mandatory water restrictions last week.

“That doesn’t mean that people can waste water. In fact, that actually means that we go to the state default conditions,” said Pismo Beach Assistant City Manager Jorge Garcia.

Pismo Beach City Officials hope that people continue saving water.

“The time to save water is when we have it. So, even though we’ve been very fortunate to have a lot of water recently, we want to make sure that people are still being smart about their water use and saving for the future,” said Garcia.

Certain water restrictions will stay in place such as not watering during the middle of the day and requiring shutoff valves to be in place while washing your car.

The City of Arroyo Grande issued $460,000 in penalties while stage 1 drought restrictions were in place.