At the May 9 City Council meeting, the Grover Beach City Council voted to adopt a resolution, declaring a stage 2 water shortage. The resolution immediately requires residents to adhere to a mandatory 10% reduction in water consumption. The Council also voted to significantly reduce turf watering at the Mentone Basin Park and Costa Bella Park.
In accordance with the City’s Water Shortage Contingency Plan (WSCP), customers who fail to comply with the reduction targets may be subject to penalties. However, the City Council decided to postpone the imposition of financial sanctions.
“We understand that this is going to be difficult for Grover Beach residents, but ensuring we have a short-term and long-term water supply is a top priority for the Council and the City,” said Grover Beach Mayor Jeff Lee. “We have seen our residents make the necessary reductions in the past and know each of us can do it again without the need to impose penalties.”
In May 2021, the City Council enacted a Stage 1 Water Shortage Declaration, which assigned customers a monthly baseline of water consumption based on the amount of water used in the previous year. California continues to experience low levels of precipitation, with January, February and March 2022 being the driest months in state history.
Lopez Lake and the Santa Maria Groundwater Basin, the City’s primary water sources, have dropped to alarmingly low levels due to the lack of rainfall accumulation over the past three years. Lopez Lake’s storage level is currently below 15,000 acre-feet, which is 29% of the total reservoir capacity. Additionally, the City’s groundwater supply is expected to decrease below seven and a half feet by June 2022.
While Grover Beach residents have collectively decreased water usage over the past few years, the City continues to consider possible supplemental water supply sources to manage multi-year droughts. Recycled wastewater has been identified as the most feasible regional option, and the City has partnered with Pismo Beach and Arroyo Grande to develop Central Coast Blue, a water treatment facility that will be located in Grover Beach. The project will bring a sufficient supply of recycled water to the region, provide reliability during times of severe drought and minimize the risk of seawater intrusion into the groundwater supply. Central Coast Blue is expected to come online in 2025.
“Drought conditions continue to persist as we plan for future water needs,” said Matthew Bronson, Grover Beach City Manager. “Beyond the current mandatory reduction of water, 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.”
Under Stage 2 through 6 water shortage conditions, City Council may also consider additional restrictions, including:
• Reducing irrigation of City owned non-sports field turf areas by the appropriate percentage as indicated in the table above
• Completely eliminating park and City landscape irrigation and restricting water system flushing
• Restricting private construction activities that require substantial amounts of water
• Enact penalties for violations of mandatory prohibitions on water wasting and/or water use
• Increasing requirements, which could include monetary penalties and could ultimately lead to the termination of water service until the violation is corrected
The City Council is anticipated to review water supply conditions this fall and may recommend additional water conservation measures based on conditions.
For more information and tips on water conservation, visit GroverBeach.org/221/Water-Conservation-Programs.