Tag Archive for: Litigation

Former California Water Official Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Steal Water From Irrigation Canal

A former California water official has pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal water in a deal with federal prosecutors in the state’s crop-rich Central Valley. The Los Angeles Times reports Tuesday that 78-year-old Dennis Falaschi, who used to head the Panoche Water District, entered the plea in federal court in Fresno. He also pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return.

‘Forever Chemicals’ Were Everywhere In 2023. Expect More Litigation In 2024

Lawsuits accusing major chemical companies of polluting U.S. drinking water with toxic PFAS chemicals led to over $11 billion in settlements in 2023, with experts predicting that new federal regulations and a growing awareness of the breadth of PFAS contamination in the U.S. will spur more litigation and settlements in the year ahead.

County Water Authority to Drop Lawsuit Over Rainbow, Fallbrook Departures

The San Diego County Water Authority has agreed to drop its lawsuit over the proposed departure of two North County water agencies, it was announced Thursday.

Water Authority Reaches $25 Million Settlement with Breakaway Fallbrook and Rainbow Districts

The San Diego County Water Authority announced Thursday it has agreed to drop all litigation and allow the rural Rainbow and Fallbrook districts to leave the country system in exchange for an immediate $25 million payment.

San Diego County Water Authority Sues Over Water Agency Exit Fees

The San Diego County Water Authority announced that it has filed suit against the San Diego Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), challenging LAFCO’s decision to allow two local water agencies to leave the Water Authority without paying certain fees.

County Water Authority Sues Over Rainbow, Fallbrook Agencies’ Departures

The San Diego County Water Authority filed a lawsuit Monday over the proposed departure of two North County water agencies, which the water authority alleges will raise water rates for other county residents.

The lawsuit challenges a decision from the San Diego Local Agency Formation Commission to allow the Rainbow Municipal Water District and Fallbrook Public Utility District to leave the water authority and join a water agency in Riverside County.

San Diego’s Contentious Water Rate Increase Unveils Detachment Drama, Environmental Harm and $140 Million at Stake

On Monday, the San Diego County Water Authority (Water Authority) filed a lawsuit seeking to protect the environment and prevent an impending, illegal water rate increase that could hurt farmers, working families, small businesses, and disadvantaged communities across the county according to the Water Authority.

Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District-customer rebates-MWD-SDCWA

Rincon Water Rebates a Hit With Customers

Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District reports that it completed an initiative to provide nearly $1.2 million in rebates to customers and has received overwhelmingly positive feedback about the program.

The rebates were made possible following years of litigation by the San Diego County Water Authority against the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California for violating existing exchange agreements between the two agencies. The customer rebates come as residents across the county prepare for the holiday season, giving Rincon Water customers a boost to help put food on the Thanksgiving table and some extra gifts for family members next month.

Water rebates to customers

“When the San Diego County Water Authority won their lawsuits against the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, we had to decide on what to do with about $1.2 million that was returned to us,” said Clint Baze, General Manager of Rincon Water. “The Rincon Board of Directors said the decision was easy because the money belongs to our customers and that is where it should go. It was the right decision, and it reflects our values of integrity, transparency, and fiscal accountability.”

The Water Authority’s lawsuit against MWD resulted in the SDCWA disbursing over $90 million to 24 member agencies, including Rincon Water. The SDCWA suit was filed against MWD in an effort to remedy overcharges from 2011-2017.

Located in northern San Diego County, Rincon Water is an urban water district consisting of more than 8,600 metered connections, of which 89% are residential customers. Its industrial customers include companies ranging from a high-tech trauma hospital, a nationally popular brewery, and a large vital utility, among others.

Rincon Water delivers customer service to ratepayers

“We take our obligations to our customers seriously – in this case, it meant returning the money as fairly and efficiently as possible, thereby giving the customer the ability to make the decision on how to spend it rather than absorbing it into the budget,” Baze said. “Rincon Water continues to lead through our excellent customer service, our top-tier water and wastewater system, and our commitment to building a sustainable system for the future.”

Rincon Water provides safe and reliable potable and recycled water to a population of 32,000 people through more than 8,000 customer connections. Our potable distribution system consists of nine enclosed reservoirs with the storage capacity of 22.5 million gallons. The potable water system consists of over 117 miles of 8″ or bigger pipeline and four pump stations and has a peak production of 10 million gallons per day.

(Editor’s note: The Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District  is one of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the metropolitan San Diego region.) 

Olivenhain Municipal Water District Logo landscape design workshops

OMWD to Refund Customers $1.62 Million From Water Wholesalers

Encinitas, Calif. — Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors unanimously voted at its November 17 meeting to refund $1.62 million to customers to reduce the impact of future water rate increases. The refund resulted from lawsuits filed by San Diego County Water Authority in 2010 and 2018, challenging the legality of Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s water rates and charges and seeking payment for legal damages and interest.

California Toxics Law: Few Water Cases, But Millions for Lawyers

Thirty-five years ago, California voters approved a landmark law meant to halt exposure to dangerous chemicals in drinking water and everyday products like food, flip-flops, and face shields.

Decades later, the water cases are few and far between—while hundreds of product lawsuits bring in millions of dollars annually for plaintiffs’ attorneys, some of whom represent environmental groups focused only on this law.

The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986—commonly known as Proposition 65— came into being during Ronald Reagan’s time as president, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was slashing regulations and loosened enforcement of pollution standards.