San Luis Obispo county supervisors approved a plan to mitigate the impacts of the ten year old Water Urgency Ordinance.
Supervisor Debbie Arnold said many small farmers were shut out, while big corporate operations are pumping water like crazy. She described the small farm operators this way as property owners, not farmers, because they had no permission to plant anything. Some of them spoke at the supervisors meeting yesterday. One woman talked about her three wells going dry along El Pomar road after Stuart Resnick and J. Lohr started pumping water nearby.
There were also speakers opposed to the proposal some of them were flacks. Professional press agents, who are paid to endorse or oppose proposals. Patricia Wilmar works for the Wine Country Alliance.
The so called water pirates are people who are more interested in water than they are in growing wine grapes. They are buying land near the state water project pipeline so they can bank water and sell it to southern California.
Supervisor Lynn Compton spoke up for the small family farms who were told they can’t plant anything. After Compton spoke, the supervisors voted 3-2 in favor of Debbie Arnold’s ordinance allowing small farms to plant crops.
Supervisor Bruce Gibson received a lot of campaign donations from the big corporate farm operators in the north county. He was disappointed to see Debbie Arnold’s proposal pass. It will allow small farm operators to get 25 acre feet to keep their farms going.