San Timoteo Watershed Management Authority 2004 Adjudication of the Beaumont Basin
Adjudicate: verb- To make a formal judgment or decision about a problem or disputed matter.
California State Law requires Water Districts to be able to guarantee a 20 year supply of potable water BEFORE they issue a Will-Serve Letter agreeing to provide water service. (Government Code 66473.7)
In 1993 the City of Beaumont and the Beaumont-Cherry Valley Water District made an Agreement: The Water District would provide the City with ‘Unlimited Will-Serve Letters’ and the City would provide the Water District with Title 22 Compliant Recycled Water.
It was never legal for the Water District to approve Will-Serve Letters without a secured 20 year supply of water.
In 2001 STWMA was formed as a Joint Powers Authority. At the time the Beaumont Basin was in Overdraft of the 8,650 Acre-Feet/Year Safe Yield.
On February 4, 2004, STWMA filed with the Riverside County Superior Court an Adjudication for Groundwater Rights in the Beaumont Basin.
STWMA sued the City of Beaumont and everyone that had Water Rights to Overdraft the Beaumont Basin.
Water Rights belong to the Property Owner, not the government. A Joint Powers Authority has no water rights and can not sue themselves for water rights.
The Adjudication created ‘Watermaster’ which still exists. Watermaster Members are the City of Banning, Yucapia Valley Water District, Beaumont-Cherry Valley Water District, South Mesa Mutual Water Company ,and the City of Beaumont, even though the City has no water rights and is not a Purveyor of water.
The Watermaster’s job is to ‘monitor the Beaumont Basin’ and Watermaster sat there and watched the draining of the Beaumont Basin since 2004. Watermaster gifted ‘Task Orders’ to Wildermuth Environmental and the Law Firm of Aklufi/Wysocki instead of conducting Public Bids for Contracts.
The Adjudication ended in 2014. The Safe Yield for the Beaumont Basin is 6,700 Acre-Feet/Year, a drastic reduction from the 2004 Safe Yield of 8,650 Acre-Feet/Year.
Of that 6,700 Acre-Feet/Year the Beaumont-Cherry Valley Water District is entitled to 42.51%, or 2,848.17 Acre-Feet/Year. However, the Beaumont-Cherry Valley Water District is using triple that amount.
Beaumont-Cherry Valley Water Board Meeting October 12, 2016, District Manager Eric Fraser:
“The local water supplies have been fully exhausted a long time ago. About 2/3’s of our water supply is dependent upon imported water right now. We serve about 13,000+ acre feet and out of that about 8,000 or 9,000 acre feet come out of the Beaumont Basin right now.”
TO THIS DAY the Beaumont-Cherry Valley Water District Board continues to issued Will-Serve Letters without a 20 year or even a 10 year supply of water.
At the October 12, 2016 Water Board Meeting San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency Manager Jeff Davis promised to secure additional water from Northern California. Davis was scheduled to return to the Beaumont-Cherry Valley Water Board Meeting in January and March with verification of additional secured State Water, but Jeff Davis never returned.
Davis stated: “Nickel Water at 513 acre/feet at 100% and about 1,500 acre/feet potentially available at a 60% reliability.”
At the time of Davis’ statement there was no Nickel Water available to purchase.