The Stinson Beach County Water District has asked the county to approve a permit to drill a new test water well that would represent about 20 percent of the town’s drinking water supply. Located at the district’s Laurel Water Treatment Plant, the proposed well would first be used to test groundwater quality before being converted into a production well. Stinson Beach receives the vast majority of its drinking water from five wells that suck groundwater out of the Mount Tamalpais aquifer. According to the district’s general manager, Ed Schmidt, the new well would serve as a buffer against water shortages brought on by California’s ongoing drought. “It’s mostly a response to the drought,” he said. “But we’ve had it on our list of capital projects for a while now.” Drilling the well in a new location will also help spread out the town’s draw on the aquifer, Mr. Schmidt said. Plans for the well, which will be drilled 260 feet deep, come with an $80,000 price tag; that cost will be covered by a $1.2 million grant the district received from the California Department of Water Resources earlier this year, with the rest of those funds going toward replacing all of the town’s 730 water meters. Stinson Beach customers should not expect to see monthly bills rise as a result of the test well, Mr. Schmidt said.