The Department of Water Resources (DWR) on Thursday released the first assessments of plans for the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.
The plans cover critically overdrafted basins in portions of Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. DWR did not approve plans for the Cuyama Valley Basin and Paso Robles Subbasin, however, saying they lack details. DWR will work with the local groundwater agencies on the plans to bring the basins into balance with pumping and recharge.
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Paso Robles took aggressive steps in 2016 to slow groundwater pumping, when the local water district began restricting new wells for vineyard plantings.
Sale prices for vested land, which had existing well water rights, increased by 17% over the prior year. Sale prices for other land fell to just 40% of the average value for vested land, according to the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.