Salinas Valley – Paso Robles Area

Source: CA DWR

Salinas Valley – Paso Robles Area



Located in California’s Central Coast hydrologic region, the Salinas Valley – Paso Robles Area is 436,157.09 acres in size. This High priority basin is home to an estimated 44,532 people (2010 value), which have been at a rate of 36.77.

Salinas Valley – Paso Robles Area is a(n) basin with approximately 1081 wells, of which approximately 51 are water supply wells. Groundwater accounts for approximately 94.14 percent of the basin’s water supply.

Source: CA DWR
Source: CA DWR

Basin Notes

2003: Bulletin 118 basin description

2014: Basin priority high. Comment: Nitrate and TDS impacts and county ordinance banning further residential development in the basin.

2015: Steinbeck Vineyards v. County of San Luis Obispo et al “The Quiet Title” case

2016: Basin boundary modification request: creating the Atascadero subbasin approved.  The Atascadero Area Subbasin is not subject to critical conditions of overdraft. – Bulletin 118 Interim Update

A further request for a change to the Upper Valley subbasin 3-004.05  is pending.

Revised basin boundary description

2018Draft basin prioritization comments –

  • CRITICAL OVERDRAFT 2016 Source: DWR 1) CASGEM/WDL/GWIDS: Longterm hydrographs show groundwater level decline. Source: DWR 2) The Paso Robles groundwater subbasin supplies water for 29 percent of the population and an estimated 40 percent of the agricultural production of San Luis Obispo County. Groundwater levels in the basin have been dropping rapidly in recent years, with many areas experiencing groundwater level declines of more than 70 feet. – Central Coast Groundwater: Seawater Intrusion and other Issues, California Water Foundation, August 4, 2014
  • Subsidence: 1) There don’t appear to be continuous GPS sites in the valley to access whether or not subsidence is still occuring. Source: USGS; submitted via email to DWR, 10/21/2016 – Subsidence has been documented in Paso Robles: 2) It is the current belief of the county and locals that subsidence is active. Source: 2015 County of San Luis Obispo Sustainable GW Proposal 

2018: Quiet Title: SLO County claims a victory in ongoing legal battle with landowners over water rights, Tribune/San Luis, 9/26/18

Landowners victorious in North County water trial, Cal Coast News, 10/1/18

2019: Approved basin modification revised the western external boundary based on arguments that a local fault and geologic contacts act as hydrologic barriers. Basin priority status remained high, as did classification of critical overdraft.

2020: January 30 – Groundwater Sustainability Plan jointly filed with the Department of Water Resources by cooperating GSAs of the County of San Luis ObispoShandon San Juan Water DistrictCity of Paso Robles and San Miguel Community Services District

GSA Information

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