San Diego County supervisors voted Wednesday to end management of the San Luis Rey Valley Groundwater Basin.
The motion passed on a 4-0 vote; Board Chairwoman Kristin Gaspar was absent.
According to officials, the county will remain part of an established working group for the basin in northwestern San Diego County.
Last year, the board entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Pauma Valley Community Services District, Upper San Luis Rey Resource Conservation District and Yuima Municipal Water District to handle basin sustainability, as required by state law.
According to county officials, $2.6 million budgeted for the basin’s management will be reallocated to another groundwater program, although a portion will be used for continued staff resources in the basin.
Several tribal water company representatives said they have received grants to handle financial obligations, but asked the county to set up a reserve account to make up for any shortfall.
Supervisor Ron Roberts said any financial reserve could result in potential liability, if the county was no longer handling groundwater basin management.
Supervisor Bill Horn said when he negotiated with tribal authorities, the agreement was that the county would contribute $150,000 and there was no discussion about a financial reserve.
Horn added that he’s glad the tribes are stepping up to contribute and is confident they can solve any issues.
— City News Service