Despite recent rainfall, California is experiencing its second driest year on record and the City of Grover Beach is taking steps to prepare for sufficient water supply to meet current and future needs over the next 20 years. At its December 13, 2021 meeting, the Grover Beach City Council adopted the 2020 Urban Water Management Plan and Updated Water Shortage Contingency Plan which is a process that takes place on a five-year schedule in accordance with the California Urban Water Management Planning Act.
The City relies on two sources of water supply: the groundwater basin and Lopez Lake surface water. Based on per-capita water demand projections, the City is expected to retain sufficient water supply for the 20-year planning horizon which projects a total population of approximately 15,000 residents. These projections assume implementation of the Central Coast Blue recycled water project along with action to voluntarily reduce groundwater pumping in response to prolonged drought. This, in turn, would require residents and businesses to pursue additional water conservation efforts.
In light of current drought conditions, the Council in May 2021 enacted a Stage 1 Water Shortage Condition. This action initiated water waste prohibitions focused on outdoor use such as excessive gutter runoff and outdoor irrigation between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The City has also distributed information to water customers about the impacts of the drought, encouraging voluntary conservation efforts. Simple, yet effective, water-saving actions include:
• Filling up your bathtub halfway or less which can save 17 to 25 gallons of water per bath per person.
• Taking 5-minute showers which may save up to 12.5 gallons per shower.
• Turning off the tap while brushing teeth.
• Installing water-saving appliances; for example, aerators and high-efficiency toilets could save 0.7 gallons per minute and 6 to 35 gallons per day respectively.
• Reducing laundry and dish loads; washing only full loads of clothes and dishes can save up to 45 gallons per load.
• Fixing leaks around the house which can save 27 to 90 gallons of water each day.
• Recycling indoor water to irrigate your garden, reducing water usage by 30%.
While Grover Beach residents have collectively decreased water usage over the past few years, maintaining and expanding these voluntary water-saving practices are important to help minimize the scope of additional water use restrictions. The Council will review an updated report on water supply in early 2022 and will consider the potential need for further action at that time based on supply conditions.
Lastly, the City of Grover Beach along with neighboring cities Pismo Beach and Arroyo Grande is pursuing a critical step to further secure reliable and sustainable water supply through development of Central Coast Blue. Central Coast Blue is a regional recycled water project that will purify wastewater and inject it into the groundwater basin in order to protect the basin against seawater intrusion and to provide a reliable supplemental water supply for the participating agencies. A cost-sharing agreement for the project will be brought to the City Council of each participating agency in January.
“The recent rain is welcomed but drought conditions continue to persist as we plan for future water needs,” said Matthew Bronson, Grover Beach City Manager. “Beyond conservation, the Central Coast Blue project will provide our community with additional sustainable water supply and we look forward to working with partner agencies to advance this critical project.”