February 21, 2024
A person works on underground water in Borrego Springs. Picture by way of @OtayMark Twitter

The Board of Supervisors Wednesday unanimously superior a proposed ordinance modification that may align county laws with a court docket ruling in reference to water rights within the Borrego Springs group.

Supervisors additionally voted to seek out that the amended ordinance complies with state Environmental High quality Act tips. The supervisors will contemplate adopting the up to date ordinance throughout a second studying, at their Oct. 11 assembly.

In 2021, a San Diego Superior Court docket decide dominated that customers within the Borrego Springs Subbasin have the proper to pump groundwater.

In connection, there’s a required 70% discount in groundwater use to adjust to the state Sustainable Groundwater Administration Act that should be achieved by 2040.

The ruling additionally allowed the Borrego Springs Watermaster — a committee that features space representatives — to handle groundwater within the basin.

In response to the county Land Use & Atmosphere Group, in 2014 California handed the regulation to guard groundwater and guarantee future availability.

The act “offers a framework to control groundwater by requiring native companies to steadiness groundwater extraction with groundwater recharge in basins designated by the California Division of Water Sources as excessive or medium precedence,” in response to LUEG.

The Borrego Water District “has been securing water rights within the basin to make sure the prevailing group doesn’t have to scale back its water use,” in response to LUEG.

Supervisor Jim Desmond praised county staffers, together with water sources supervisor Jim Bennett, for engaged on the amended ordinance. He additionally credited the Borrego Watermaster for its efforts.

“It’s excellent to see Borrego group working collectively and arising with their very own plan on how one can sustainably use the water they’ve,” Desmond added.

Vice Chair Terra Lawson-Remer described the plan as “inventive and constructive,” particularly given the challenges round groundwater use.

Together with the Borrego area, county groundwater guideline updates apply to Higher San Luis Rey Valley and San Pasqual Valley basins.