While the current futility of resolving the lake's issues may leave residents with a bad taste in their mouths (and smell in their nostrils), the groundwater situation in Atascadero, according to Atascadero Mutual Water Company General Manager John Neil, should be the envy of the North County.
gave a presentation during the Sept. 10 council meeting about Atascadero's groundwater situation, and the news was almost entirely positive.
As Neil explained, Atascadero's sub-basin is hydro-geologically distinct from the larger Paso Robles Groundwater basin, with the Rinconada Fault serving as a divider.
This is a good thing for Atascadero, Neil
said, because the smaller sub-basin is filled up more rapidly by rainfall and not subject to the same intensive agricultural water usage as the Paso Robles basin.
Atascadero water rates for residents remain quite low comparatively, and, according to Neil
, two straight dry years haven't really affected the rates or overall water supply at all.
The city is planning for the future as well, Neil
explained, signing up as one of the initial participants in the Nacimiento Water Project, which brings millions of added gallons per year down a pipeline.
"We are in a very comfortable position right now, though we always encourage our customers to conserve water," Neil