At its meeting on September 26, the Grover Beach City Council declared a Stage 3 water shortage based on the City’s current water supply. The new condition requires all residents to adhere to a mandatory 20% reduction in water consumption. To ensure that Grover Beach continues to provide sufficient water to meet community needs, the Council also directed staff to proactively explore supplemental water supply options.
“As this historic statewide drought persists, water conservation is more important than ever,” said Grover Beach Mayor Jeff Lee. “We understand that these restrictions may be challenging for residents and businesses, but it is critical that we all do our part to limit water waste as much as possible and protect our finite water supply.”
On May 9, the City Council enacted a Stage 2 water shortage, which required residents to reduce their water consumption by 10% based on the amount of water the household used in the previous year. However, Grover Beach has only reduced water consumption by 5.2%, and if dry conditions continue without any additional conservation or supplemental water supplies, the available supply may be unable to meet demand in the 2024 water year.
During the implementation of the Stage 2 water shortage, the City Council decided to not impose penalties for residential customers who failed to comply with the reduction targets. As current reduction levels remain below the required reduction amounts, the Council directed staff to impose penalties under the Stage 3 water shortage, consistent with the Water Shortage Contingency Plan (WSCP). Under the WSCP, the first violation results in a warning letter, followed by a $100 penalty for the second violation. Subsequent violations are subject to higher financial sanctions.
Since the Stage 2 water shortage declaration, the City has browned the turf at Costa Bella and Mentone Basin parks and is exploring opportunities to implement drought-resistant landscaping to conserve more water. While there is no construction currently underway on large development projects, the City will also consider any necessary adjustments to the timing of future building and development plans based on future water supply conditions.
To build water resiliency and bolster the region’s local water supply, the City of Grover Beach has partnered with the City of Pismo Beach and the City of Arroyo Grande to launch Central Coast Blue, a recycled water project that will create an additional high-quality and sustainable water supply for the region. The Cities held a joint meeting on September 14 where they discussed the technology, facility design, location and costs of the project. They will continue to pursue grant funding and finalize the design of the new facility by the end of 2023. The project is expected to be operational by late 2025 with additional groundwater supply available by mid-2026.
“As we continue to work diligently on ways to supplement our water supply, we urge all Grover Beach community members to do what they can to reduce their water consumption and take advantage of the rebate programs available,” said Matthew Bronson, Grover Beach City Manager. “The City is taking a proactive role to ensure sufficient water for our community and additional conservation efforts will help us meet this goal.”
The City is anticipated to provide an update on water supply conditions and projections for the 2024 water year in spring 2023.