Paso Robles - Wine Wars


2014-01-23T19:25:06+00:00
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"The drought is being used as a political mechanism to take away property rights," said Cindy Steinbeck of Steinbeck Vineyards; Winery in Paso Robles. To take water from streams, lakes and rivers in California, you must have permits and licenses, but no such process existed before for groundwater. Now, groundwater legislation becomes law.

On September, 16 governor Brown Jr. signed the legislation that mandates the creation of local groundwater agencies that will manage, control the extraction of water from underground, and create plans to help sustain water supplies in the state.

"We are in a severe drought, but that doesn't mean private landowners should have to give up what is theirs." Three opposing groups formed to advocate different approaches, from forming a water district to stopping future growth to adjudicating water rights by a court process.

Groundwater has been regulated in greatly diverse ways from other water sources. Surface water and groundwater are handled oppositely in state law in a way that makes little sense, because as we know one affects the other.

The water deficit created impressive rifts in the Paso Robles community, turning neighbors against neighbors, holing winery versus winery, over the best way to refresh the shared water basin. "

"We are all peers," said Steinbeck, whose association expects two lawsuits she's filed will force adjudication. "We just have entire different philosophical reasonings. My idea comes from a property-rights prospective. I believe that if I take care of what I have and my neighbors do the alike, we are the best chamberlains of this land." As virtually any Californian can tell you, we are in a cruel drought. In the last two years in Paso Robles, we've had almost no rain. Listening to the national news, I'd be surprised if not most of the other states knows we had no rain in the Golden State for the past couple of years.

The Paso Robles water Basin is the biggest natural underground aquifer in California. Landowners are not happy to become a source of water of outside communities. They are always dealing with water shortages themselves. As a fact, many homeowners targeted lands with wells, and now, when the state tries to intrude into their property rights, they are willing to fight.

The Board of Supervisors of AAGS, Agricultural Alliance Groundwater Solutions, is opposed to export their water outside the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin.

Does it mean we shouldn't flee to Paso Robles this weekend? I hope not. When it come to love, romance most Californias think Paso Robles. With cowboy bars, offbeat art studios, and a state-of-the-art tasting rooms, this area in the California wine country is on the top-list of the state attractions. Hopefully, we will not lose famous California destination over wine wars. But as everyone else in the state, the California drought does not play nice.

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Water sprinkler, car in water, California water fines

Despite the dry winter, California State Water Resources Control Board and cities representatives support the state water regulators in Sacramento to fine residents up to $500 per water violation. Orginal water rules were set on a temporary basis during the California drought 2014-2017 by Gov. Jerry Brown. Now, according to the water conservation portal, it will, most likely, become a permanent Califonia law.


California drought. Brown bald lawn in Bay Area.

Despite the drought officially ended by Gov. Jerry Brown, Mediterranean climate in major parts of California remains the same. Water demands in warm, hot, dry summers and mild, moderately wet winters always exceed the water resources. A five-year drought raised concerns. It costs the state economy billions of dollars. It stressed forests and left more than 100 million dead trees behind. But the effects are far more deadly than anyone could imagine.


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California doesn't look green anymore. In the historic state of drought, Californian lawns are now on the edge of extinction. Homeowners and communities are continuously looking for alternatives and the artificial grass looks more and more attractive.


The "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart has his own idea of how to solve the California Drought issue.

"First, as you know, California goes through historic unprecedented dry spell. " - says Jon Stewart at Thursday's Daily Show. "We are talking about original movie ideas. BOOM! Take that Jurassic world. Hey, what if they build another dinosaur theme park, but this time things also went horribly wrong."


As a drought becomes a major concern in California, the idea of replacing old lawns with artificial grass becomes more and more attractive to home and business owners. In the interview with Ken Wayne, Fox News, San Francisco, Jim Luthi, the homeowner of Newark, confessed he has bit the bullet and replace the sod with artificial turf: "Thirty something years of having droughts on and off. "

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