Wednesday April 6, 2022

San Luis Obispo Tribune

A new report shows that over-pumping of the Paso Robles groundwater sub-basin has continued at unsustainable levels, an issue worsened by the ongoing drought that has resulted in greater irrigation needs for agriculture operations in the region.

In total, groundwater users in the basin in northern San Luis Obispo County — generally encompassing the area east of Highway 101 and north of Highway 58 — pumped 82,100 acre-feet of water in 2021, up from 67,300 in 2020, a 22% increase, according to the latest annual report for the basin.

That’s a far cry from the estimated sustainable yield of 61,100 acre-feet per year and resulted in the basin’s groundwater supply being depleted by about 41,500 acre-feet, the annual report says.

In fact, the total groundwater pumped from the basin has exceeded the estimated sustainable yield in all of the past five years.

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