Lopez Lake
Lopez Lake

Cloud Seeding Environmental Document Available for Public Review and Comment

Author: Public Works
Date: 3/1/2018 4:18:03 PM

The San Luis Obispo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District (District) is considering a new program that would increase the local water supply and the public has until March 20, 2018 to formally comment on a related environmental document.

On February 19, 2018, the District released the environmental document, known as a Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND), to provide a summary of the proposed Winter Cloud Seeding Program for Lopez Lake and Salinas Reservoir. This document addresses environmental concerns related to cloud seeding, a process that can potentially enhance rainfall by about 10 to 15 percent and is a relatively cost-effective option to enhance the County’s water supply.

The district invites the public to provide comments through the required 30-day public review period of the environmental document. Written comments must be received by 5:00 pm. on March 20, 2018. Comments can be emailed to [email protected] or mailed and addressed to: Keith Miller, Environmental Resource Specialist, County Government Center, Room 206, San Luis Obispo, CA 93408.

County staff will consider all comments received and decide if changes to the Draft MND are necessary. The final MND will be presented at the County Board of Supervisors meeting as a hearing item on June 19, 2018. The public will also have an opportunity to provide comments at that hearing and the Board will consider adopting the MND and provide next steps, if approved.

The district also released a Cloud Seeding Feasibility Study in March 2017. This study concluded that cloud seeding could safely increase rainfall in targeted areas of San Luis Obispo County and can increase water supply storage in Lopez Lake and Santa Margarita (Salinas) Reservoir by about 3,000 to 6,000 acre feet per year. This means a 6 to 12 percent increase in water storage for Lopez Lake and a 12 to 24 percent increase in Salinas Reservoir.

For more information, visit www.slocounty.ca.gov/winter-cloud-seeding.