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From the President

 

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Michael S. Williams
President-Executive Director

22 March 2015

Over the last month the WRA has received numerous calls and emails regarding Goleta Water District v. Slippery Rock Ranch, LLC, et al., (13 Feb. 2015). Much of this new litigation falls within the judgement and court supervision of Martha H. Wright, et al v. Goleta Water District, et al, SM57969.

The issue of local ground water is not new, nor are the concerns of local residents. The Goleta Water District’s “Water Management & Long Range Planning Committee Slippery Rock Proposal Staff Report, 28 October 2014” provides an overview from their perspective. Additional case background can be found at Justia Law: Wright v. Goleta Water Dist. (1985). Moreover, the Santa Barbara Independent recently published “Lamentation of a Dog Denied” that provides an overview of past and current issues.

There is no shortage of documents concerning local ground water including the “Groundwater_Management_Plan_Final_05-11-10” prepared for the Goleta Water District and La Cumbre Mutual Water Company by Steven Bachman, dated 11 May 2010.

I and members of the WRA Board have talked to various water consultants, water attorneys, local well operators, geologists, Goleta Water District management as well as their in-house and contracted legal counsel, WRA’s own corporate counsel, current and retired water managers, a local water master, Santa Barbara County Environmental Health, Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management and local residents.  Based on these conversations, it is the consensus of the WRA Board to take a “wait and see” posture.

The California drought and water law is profoundly complex. Regrettably, there are no simple answers and the ramifications of quick decisions can have a prolonged impact on our community. Caution and careful thought has been strongly advised by all those involved in the process. Nonetheless, conservation is a wise course of action for everyone in California and our community.

Additional drought information can be found in Governor Brown’s, Legislative Leaders Announce $1 Billion Emergency Drought Package.

The WRA is here for the San Marcos Pass Community. If we can be of assistance please give us a call at 964-7194 or email community@wildlandresidents.org.

 

Michael S. Williams
President-Executive Director

2014 Annual Report
Bylaws of the Wildland Residents Association
WRA Tri-fold brochure