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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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— Authorization to Purchase State WaterOrdinance —

Local
November 8, 2016 —California General Election

City of Arroyo Grande
Measure E-16 Ordinance - Majority Approval Required

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Election Results

Passed

8,253 votes yes (86.42%)

1,297 votes no (13.58%)

  • 100% of precincts reporting (12/12).
  • 10,265 ballots counted.

Shall the City of Arroyo Grande be authorized to purchase water from the State Water Project to supplement the City's existing water supplies during local water emergencies declared by the Arroyo Grande City Council?

Impartial analysis / Proposal

 Measure E-16, which was placed on the ballot by the City Council, asks whether voters wish to authorize the City of Arroyo Grande (“City”) to purchase water from the California State Water Project on a temporary basis, and only during a declared local water emergency. The California State Water Project (“Project”) is a water storage and delivery system of reservoirs and aqueducts. Its main purpose is to store water and distribute it to urban and agricultural water suppliers throughout California. The Project provides supplemental water to approximately 25 million Californians and about 750,000 acres of irrigated farmland. It is maintained and operated by the California Department of Water Resources. A ballot measure passed in 1990 requires a vote of the voters of Arroyo Grande before the City can participate in the Project. The effect and operation of Measure E-16 is that a “yes” vote will authorize the City to purchase water from the Project on a temporary basis, and only when the City Council declares a local water emergency. Under current law, after holding a noticed public hearing the Council may declare a water emergency when it finds that it is imminent that the City’s water supply has or will become so limited that an emergency shortage condition exists in that the available water supply is less than the projected demand. A “no” vote on Measure E-16 means the City will continue to be unable to purchase water from, or otherwise participate in, the Project.

 

— Heather K. Whitham City Attorney, City of Arroyo Grande

YES vote means

The effect and operation of Measure E-16 is that a “yes” vote will authorize the City to purchase water from the Project on a temporary basis, and only when the City Council declares a local water emergency. Under current law, after holding a noticed public hearing the Council may declare a water emergency when it finds that it is imminent that the City’s water supply has or will become so limited that an emergency shortage condition exists in that the available water supply is less than the projected demand.

NO vote means

A “no” vote on Measure E-16 means the City will continue to be unable to purchase water from, or otherwise participate in, the Project.

Arguments FOR

Your “YES” vote on Measure E-16 will authorize the City of Arroyo Grande to purchase State water if necessary under local water emergencies declared by the Arroyo Grande City Council to meet anticipated water supply needs.  Due to ongoing drought conditions, the City may not have sufficient water supplies as soon as 2018.   To meet current water demands, the City uses all of its allotment of Lopez Reservoir water and a court order prevents the City from pumping groundwater above its entitlement.

State water may be available to the City for short-term purchases, even in drought conditions, because the County of San Luis Obispo has excess supply that is available to compensate for periodic reductions in deliveries from the State. 

Access to State water will potentially provide the City with a supplemental water source when local water supplies are jeopardized.  Water conservation efforts by Arroyo Grande water customers have significantly reduced water use Citywide. Additionally, long-range efforts to secure supplemental water supplies such as recycled water are ongoing, but will take several years to develop.  Given the uncertainties involving our water resources, it is prudent to have additional options to secure supplemental water supplies.  Approval of this measure will provide the critical authorization needed to purchase State water if needed to replace the loss of existing supply due to drought or other emergency conditions.  This measure is not intended to acquire water to accommodate any growth not currently allowed or planned.

The City has worked hard to make available the water needed to serve its customers, but supply is restricted and options are limited.  Your City Council unanimously urges you to take the steps necessary to help ensure it can continue to meet these needs in the future in a cost effective manner by voting “YES” on Measure E-16.

s/ Jim Hill
Mayor

s/ Barbara Harmon
Mayor Pro Tem

s/ Jim Guthrie
Council Member

s/ Kristen Barneich
Council Member     

s/ Tim Brown
Council Member

Arguments AGAINST

NO ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE E-16 WAS SUBMITTED

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