Our mutual water company is facing multiple crises, and the secretive board of directors is floundering. The purpose of this blog is to share and discuss information among shareholders so we can work together to get Crestview on a good path forward.
- Well #4 became so unproductive that it was shut down in August 2021. The resulting increased purchases of water from Calleguas Municipal Water District, up to $150,000 per month, will far exceed Crestview’s FY2021 budget and inflate our rates and/or deplete our cash resources.
- If the board decides to lower the pump in Well #4 and make related improvements, that will cost about $250,000 and maybe require the treatment plant to be restarted at a further cost of $100,000. If it decides not to do that, higher costs of buying Calleguas water will continue at about $1 million per year for at least two more years.
- In September 2021, Ventura County issued a final denial of Crestview’s application to drill Well #7, on which it has spent over $1 million of our money.
- Well #8, which Crestview is pursuing on behalf of Calleguas, will probably fail the permit process for the same reasons. The Well #8 project is seriously over budget, and the contract with Calleguas makes Crestview responsible for overruns.
- If Well #4 is rehabilitated, it and Well #6 may be able to produce over the long term enough water to consume 100% of our pumping rights—depending on how long the drought continues and whether our pumping rights are permanently reduced in a pending lawsuit.
- If Well #4 is not rehabilitated, Crestview needs to consider whether a new well will be authorized by Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency to pump enough to repay the investment out of reduced purchases from Calleguas. If so, the new well must be carefully located to tap clean water and minimize costs, due diligence steps that Crestview neglected when siting Well #7 and Well #8.
- The only reason Crestview exists is to exploit the fact that groundwater is so much cheaper than Calleguas water. Even so, there is a recurring question whether Crestview should consolidate with the City of Camarillo or another water company.
- The Governor has issued an emergency order to reduce water consumption, and Calleguas, which supplies a large part of Crestview’s water, is considering mandatory conservation measures. These developments, and Crestview’s response to them, may impact Crestview’s groundwater strategy, rate structures, and consumption restrictions. Nothing in its published agendas indicates the Crestview board is addressing these contingencies.
- There is also a crisis of succession because three of the five board members are in their 80s, and all of them have indicated their intentions to retire soon. Which of our shareholders will step up to fill these voids?
If you are one of Crestview’s 625 shareholders, please post a comment now and tell us what we should address in this blog. Also, in the box at the top of the sidebar, please sign up to receive email updates whenever a new article is posted.