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Water dispute bubbling in Central CA wine region

california connoisseurs annual demand urban growth groundwater

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#1 Hum

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 14:44

PASO ROBLES, Calif. –  Wine connoisseurs may be enjoying the latest Zinfandel or Syrah from the Paso Robles region, but residents are complaining the growing number of vineyards is straining the local water supply.

A dispute has been bubbling lately between residents and winemakers over the use of an ancient aquifer that covers nearly 800 square miles and is large enough to support annual demand.

However, the wine grape acreage has more than tripled in the past 15 years and some residents say the basin water is flowing freely into the vineyards. The water level has sunk 70 feet or more since 1997 in some parts due to persistent drought and agricultural and urban growth.

More than two-thirds of basin water usage is for farming, most of which are vineyards. California and Texas are the only two states that allow landowners unlimited access to groundwater.

"There's too many doctors and lawyers moving in here and putting in their Chateau Cashflow," Zan Overturf, owner of a Paso Robles plant nursery, told the Los Angeles Times.

 

Wine growers are backing a proposal to form a water district and acquire supplemental water from the California State Water Project.

 

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#2 Growled

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 01:34

I've read that many cities in the American West are struggling with water problems, with growing demand.



#3 kingroach

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 01:58

I don't know much about CA but I was in phoenix, az earlier in the summer and I seen obscene amount of water and energy waste. I was staying in a slightly upper class neighborhood and most of the houses has sprinkler running to water the trees that don't belong there.. The sprinklers water every hour so that the ground don't dry up. AC running 24/7 because its almost 110 degrees outside. Meanwhile water level on lake mead was dropping.

 

I believe local govt. should look into these neighborhoods and put a cap on how much monthly water and energy they can spend and fine people who plants non native trees. If that means making the life inhospitable then so be it. Most of these places were never meant for human settlement. /end rant



#4 Growled

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 03:36

 AC running 24/7 because its almost 110 degrees outside. Meanwhile water level on lake mead was dropping.

 

I believe the demand for power is going to be the gotcha for them. You've got to have AC at those temps.





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