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Ventura River Watershed Adjudication

Casitas Municipal Water District is actively defending and protecting the District’s water rights in the case of Santa Barbara Channelkeeper v. State Water Resources Control Board; City of San Buenaventura; City of San Buenaventura v. Duncan Abbott, et al., Cross-Complaint, Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles, Case No. 19STCP01176.

If you received a notice or summons and wish to defend your water rights as a property owner, you should consider hiring your own attorney for your specific property rights. Because of its statutory responsibilities and mission, Casitas Municipal Water District is defending rights related to water supplied through your utility connection, not water rights associated with the property you own.  In order to pay for the legal costs associated with this defense, a charge named the City of Ventura Adjudication Charge has been added to monthly billing. See more information below.

We understand many of you have questions regarding the adjudication process initiated by the City of Ventura. Although we are legally unable to give you advice about what you should do, we want to provide you with as much information as possible.  Links to public information shared by Casitas related to the adjudication are provided below. Since this is an active legal case there are details which must remain confidential.

Latest information about the case is found at the following website:

City of Ventura Adjudication Charge 
Notice of Public Hearing on Proposed City of Ventura Adjudication Impact Charge

The following describes the implementation policy related to the charge:

1. The City of Ventura Adjudication Charge is a result of a policy to ensure that identifiable costs that are expected to incur over a period of several years should be included in the District’s water rate structure.

2. Ongoing budgetary costs should not be funded through reserve accounts.

3. District reserves are intended to provide funds for emergency one-time costs as well as large future capital expenditures.

4. Revenues from the charge will be tracked and compared with costs of the City of Ventura Adjudication litigation.

5. Full costs of the City of Ventura Adjudication litigation are not fully known but are expected to include attorney fees, expert fees, and court costs.

6. The Board will create a reserve account that will contain the funds that result from the impact charge.

7. Staff will provide an accounting of the accumulated funds and adjudication costs for the Board’s periodic consideration.

8. The City of Ventura Adjudication Charge will be removed from the District’s rate structure should the litigation be brought to a conclusion or it is dismissed entirely.

9. Unused funds collected through the impact charge will be returned to Casitas' customers.

10. The City of Ventura Adjudication Charge will support Casitas' ability to continue serve its customers, as it has in the past, by protecting Casitas' water rights and ensuring those rights remain intact.

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