An action to decide the relative entitlements of all persons pumping from our groundwater basin was started in 2018. On November 17 the judge filed a “Final Statement of Decision re: Phase 2” substantially adopting the Settlement Agreement entered into by Crestview and others constituting 87% of the owners of pumping rights.
Among the important things decided is that “Crestview’s” groundwater pumping rights actually belong individual shareholders, not the mutual water companies. Crestview is our agent for pumping and distributing our water to us, subject to company rules. The Settlement Agreement does not rely solely on a per-acre apportionment of rights or solely on historical use, and the court found the Settling Parties had properly blended those and other factors into a fair and workable solution.
Key points in the Settlement Agreement are explained here. A brief description of the litigation is posted on Crestview’s website. A Phase 3 trial will start May 1, 2023. After that there will be other proceedings before a trial court judgment and then, no doubt, appeals.
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