Fiscal year 2013-2014 saw dramatic changes in the governance of Central Basin water rights as a result of the third amendment to the Central Basin Groundwater Adjudication (Third Amended Judgment or Judgment). Among other things, the Judgment now permits parties holding water rights to store water in the Central Basin for later recovery. This ability to access available storage space, as well as other provisions for increased flexibility, provide the framework for the optimal utilization of the Central Basin to meet the future water demands of the region.
The Third Amended Judgment also established a new Watermaster, which replaces the Department of Water Resources in that role. The Watermaster now consists of three separate arms with different functions.
The first arm is the Administrative Body, to administer the Watermaster accounting and reporting functions. The Water Replenishment District of Southern California was appointed by the court to fulfill this role.
The second arm is the Water Rights Panel which enforces issues related to the pumping rights within the adjudication. The Water Rights Panel is made up of seven water rights holders who are selected through election.
Current members of the Water Rights Panel are the City of Downey, Golden State Water Company, City of Lakewood, City of Long Beach, Montebello Land and Water Company, City of Signal Hill and the City of Paramount.
The third arm is the Storage Panel which is comprised of the Water Rights Panel and the WRD Board of Directors, which together approve certain groundwater storage efforts.
This 2013-2014 Watermaster Report, developed by the Administrative Body and scheduled to be adopted by the Central Basin Water Rights Panel on November 13, 2014, provides information on groundwater extractions, storage accounts, use of imported water and recycled water, replenishment operations, and the budget and finances of Watermaster during the 2013-2014 fiscal year. The format of this report is in keeping with format used by the Department of Water Resources in previous years. Watermaster greatly appreciates the assistance and support received from the Department of Water Resources during this transition year and will continue to build off the excellent work they have done in past years.