Montara and Moss Beach homeowners with wells have no other options
There has been a moratorium on new connections to the Montara Water and Sanitary District Water supply since 1975. Those building new homes since then have had to dig their own wells on their own property to get access to water. The problem is that everyone—including MWSD—is drawing water from the same aquifer.
Julia Scott of the County Times interviewed one family whose well is running dry. They want to move, but they can’t get water and can’t sell their house.
"We’re just stuck," Gary said. "We have this incredible burden on us that we can’t get rid of. They tell me that even if the house was condemned, they wouldn’t give us a hookup. One more hookup wouldn’t tax the system that much more."
"Our concern is that we’re all drilling in and getting water from the same area. It’s like straws in a big milkshake: We suck out water, and they suck out water — it seems to us that there’s going to be a diminished resource," [MWSD General Manager George] Irving said.
The unincorporated Midcoast is one of the fastest-growing areas of San Mateo County. A master plan for the area, approved in draft form by the Board of Supervisors in October 2006, allows for the construction of 7,153 new homes in the next 30 years — roughly doubling the current population.
MWSD gets all its water from local wells. El Granada and Half Moon Bay get their water from the County Coastside Water District, where you can get a water hookup (if you have tens of thousands of dollars) because they’re buying their water from the SF Public Utilities Commission, which gets its water from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir [Wikipedia] at Yosemite.