A partial settlement (subject to court approval) has been reached in the case filed in March 2018 to adjudicate the respective rights of all to pump groundwater from the Las Posas Valley Groundwater Basin. This affects all Crestview shareholders, as the settlement confirms that we individually own the water rights and that Crestview is acting as our agent in this litigation.
Readers may remember that in the summer of 2018 all shareholders were served with the complaint in this case and did not know what to do. Crestview undertook to represent all of us and posted this description on its website. Since then, Crestview has reported nothing to shareholders about the progress of this case. This post is based on court documents filed December 20, 2022.
In the settlement, Crestview is allocated 717.00 acre-feet per year, assuming an annual “operating yield” for the whole basin of 40,000 AF. This is a reduction of about 4% from our 747.945 AF allocation for 2022. Allocations by Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency are subject to change annually as the basin-wide “sustainable yield” estimate is changed depending on aquifer conditions, history, and projections, but 717 AF would establish our relative share compared to all other pumpers.
The significance of these developments is that we are closing in on an understanding of how much water Crestview will be able to pump in future years. We need that understanding for well and infrastructure planning, for budgeting and financial planning, and as a basis for determining any needs for conservation.
The agreement is subject to court approval after a trial commencing January 19, 2022. We fervently hope that shortly after the court’s decision, Crestview will have our legal counsel make a report to all shareholders.