By KAREN VELIE
The Grover Beach City Council voted on May 8 to immediately require residents to reduce their water usage by 10%.
Customers who fail to comply with reduction targets may be subject to penalties. However, the City Council decided to postpone the imposition of fines.
“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.”
Last May, the city assigned customers a monthly baseline of water consumption based on the amount of water used in 2020.
Over the past three years, Lopez Lake and the Santa Maria Groundwater Basin, the city’s primary water sources, have dropped to alarmingly low levels. Lopez Lake’s storage level is currently below 15,000 acre-feet, which is 29% of the total reservoir capacity. The city’s groundwater supply is expected to decrease 7 1/2 feet by June 2022.
In an attempt to provide a supplemental water supply, Grover Beach 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.”