Who Owns Groundwater? Lawsuit Seeks to Answer the Question

Who Owns Groundwater? Lawsuit Seeks to Answer the Question

A group of agricultural business owners is pushing back on restrictions to their water use from the Las Posas Groundwater Basin. The Ventura County, California case is challenging the amount of water farm owners can pump from a groundwater basin that sits below Moorpark, California.

The suit claims that the entity that oversees groundwater basins in the area, Fox Groundwater Management Agency, overstepped its responsibilities as a supervisor of local water sources and is asking the court to determine the water rights of the basin.

The plaintiffs argue that they have “a priority right to the water based on their use of the resource for their fields and businesses.” The group is also challenging the agency’s claim that it is a sustainability agency.

“’The state of California established Groundwater Sustainable Agencies during the drought as a way to manage groundwater, which was more heavily relied on during the drought,’ Moorpark City Manager Troy Brown wrote in an email to the Acorn.”

The outcome of the case will determine groundwater allocation in the basin.

[The Camarillo Acorn]