Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Wendy Quinn 

Stipulated Judgement on GSP in the Works


Last updated 7/30/2019 at 11:26pm

In his overview of the terms of a potential negotiated solution regarding water rights and management of the Borrego Springs sub-basin, BWD attorney Steve Anderson elaborated on the proposed governance system during the Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) implementation phase. His presentation came at the important July 9 meeting of the BWD where it was standing room only for attendees.

The proposed stipulated judgment has been negotiated among the pumpers in Borrego Valley over the last several months, and it will be considered for final adoption this Fall following public input.

The stipulation contemplates governance by a WaterMaster Board, comprised of five members representing BWD, the Community, the County of San Diego, Agriculture, and Recreation. The Board would hold open meetings in accordance with the Brown Act, having an independent staff financed by assessments according to acre-feet of water pumped.

The process of appointing the WaterMaster Board would begin with a filing in the San Diego Superior Court, but the case may eventually be transferred to a neighboring county due to potential conflicts of interest.

In any event, a Superior Court judge would appoint the Board, oversee its actions, settle disputes, and enforce collection of assessments. The same judge would be responsible for the Board until he or she retires, at which time another permanent judge would take over.

Anderson’s presentation generated public discussion at the meeting. The BWD Board will continue to address issues related to the potential stipulation throughout the summer, which would include the GSP as an attachment (the Physical Solution). Public comments are welcome.

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