CITY OF SANTA MARIA v. [and Three Other Cases.*]

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Court of Appeal, Sixth District, California.

CITY OF SANTA MARIA et al., Cross-complainants, Cross-defendants and Respondents, v. Richard E. Adam et Al., Cross-Defendants, Cross-Complainants and Appellants; Golden State Water Company et Al., Cross-Defendants, Cross-Complainants and Respondents; Nipomo Community Services District et Al., Cross-Defendants and Respondents. [and Three Other Cases.*]

H032750

Decided: December 21, 2012

ORDER MODIFYING OPINION AND DENYING PETITION FOR REHEARING

It is ordered that the opinion filed herein on November 21, 2012, be modified as follows:

On page 11, first paragraph of section III, C, insert as the fourth and fifth sentences:

The trial court found that Basin groundwater levels had been declining between 1945 and the late 1960s and that statistical compilations of annual inflow, seaward outflow (which prevents salt water intrusion), and extractions demonstrated that “in all the years from 1944 through 1962 (and beyond)” extractions had substantially exceeded the “native yield.”

The full paragraph shall now read:

In light of the Stipulation, the Phase IV trial involved only appellants and the public water producers.   Among the issues to be tried were the prescriptive rights claims of the public water producers and the legality of the Stipulation's allocation of the Twitchell Yield.   In its Phase IV statement of decision, the trial court reversed its previous conclusion rejecting the public water producers' prescriptive rights claim.   The trial court found that Basin groundwater levels had been declining between 1945 and the late 1960s and that statistical compilations of annual inflow, seaward outflow (which prevents salt water intrusion), and extractions demonstrated that “in all the years from 1944 through 1962 (and beyond)” extractions had substantially exceeded the “native yield.”   The court found that the undisputed evidence showed that, even though the Basin had not suffered permanent adverse effects, the Basin had been in overdraft at least during the years 1944 through 1951, 1953 through 1957, and 1959 through 1967, and, throughout those periods, Santa Maria and GSWC had continued to pump water.   The court also found “that even after the Twitchell augmentation began, there have been periods in excess of the statute of limitations during which there has been no surplus in the basin” and these public water producers continued to pump.   The court found that the other elements of prescription were proved and, therefore, Santa Maria and GSWC had established prescriptive rights in the native supply.

There is no change in the judgment.   Appellants' petition for rehearing filed December 6, 2012, is denied.

Premo, Acting P.J.

Elia, J.

Grover, J.

BY THE COURT:

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