PRO Water Equity and the Paso Robles Agricultural Alliance for Groundwater Solutions have each been working towards a governance structure to manage the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin which ensures that the basin is stabilized and sustained for the benefit of all overliers. After months of discussions, these groups of local landowners have been able to find common ground on formation and governance of a groundwater management structure.
PRO Water Equity announced that – through compromise – the two groups have agreed upon a proposal to put before the public. “We believe this proposal provides fair and equitable representation for basin water users and a structure that meets the long-term needs of the area,” PRO Water Equity wrote in a press release in December.
The proposed water district would be governed by locals, have the ability to obtain supplemental water, and could implement water management through an AB 3030 management plan. Development of the district will involve working through the LAFCO process and via special legislation.
The proposed voting structure for the district and the qualifications for the board of directors are described below. We believe this voting structure will give representation to landowners of all sizes, including agriculturalists and rural residents.
Proposed Voting Structure for Board of Directors of District
Seven member board, elected at large.
Two directors elected by large landowners – owners of a total of (to be determined later) acres or more.
Two directors elected by small/medium-sized landowners – owners of less than (to be determined later) acres.
Within each class (large or small), consistent with existing law, the initial vote would be based on acreage and thereafter would be based on assessed valuation shown on the last equalized assessment roll.
Three directors elected by popular vote of residents (registered voters) living within the district.
Landowner votes shall be cast by one of the owners on the deed, a current trustee if the land is owned by a trust, or a designated officer if the land is owned by a corporation or partnership.
Qualifications for Board of Directors of District
Board members must be landowners within the district and must reside within the basin or within the surrounding area (to be defined).
Community meetings are being held by PRAAGS and PRO Water Equity to describe the governance structure and to hear input from the public.