A Local Solution

On Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) released its Draft Flow Recommendations for the Lower Ventura River and Coyote Creek, Ventura County. Recommendations for the Intermittent Reach and San Antonio Creek are expected to be released in upcoming weeks by the State agency.

A Collaborative, Local Solution

In order to safeguard the Ventura River Watershed — a precious local resource — the City of Ventura and a coalition of local water users have released for public review a locally controlled, collaborative and enforceable agreement (called a “physical solution”) to protect the Watershed and those who rely on it.

Collectively, the coalition believes this solution not only preserves and protects all reasonable and beneficial uses of water of the Ventura River Watershed, while implementing specific actions to return the fishery to good condition, but also demonstrates each negotiating party’s commitment to being part of a local solution to protect the fishery and all those who rely upon the Ventura River.

The physical solution does not impair nor determine water rights, priority or water allocations, and the City of Ventura is not asking for attorneys’ fees.

The Physical Solution

Please click the “download” button to review the proposed physical solution and settlement agreement.

Supporting Documents

In an effort to break down the legal jargon, the City has developed supporting resources that provide an overview of the proposed solution and addresses key areas related to the solution.

What’s Next?

The proposing parties released the Physical Solution on Sept. 15, 2020, and have been engaging in a meet and confer process since that time. Initially, this meet and confer process included regular meetings with the experts for the proposing parties so that interested persons could learn more about the basis for the proposal. The proposing parties are still available to meet individually with interested persons who wish to learn more about the Physical Solution and its components.

If you are an interested person who is either a named cross-defendant or a person who has received notice of the litigation and you wish to learn more about the Physical Solution by participating in the meet and confer process, please contact Elizabeth Balloue at [email protected]. To participate in the meet and confer process, you will need to sign a confidentiality agreement. If you just have general questions, please contact Patrick Skahan at [email protected].

The City needs to be careful not to provide legal advice, and if you have questions you should consult with your own attorney.

If you are not opposed to the physical solution, but are not yet a party or have not filed an answer (if you received a summons), you could choose to take no further action. If the physical solution is approved by the court, your property would be subject to its terms and the court’s continued jurisdiction.

If you received a legal notice in the mail, it does not make you a party to this lawsuit, but the City does need you to return receipt. The law requires the City to post a notice of this legal action on all parcels of land located above the basins for which the City does not obtain a return receipt. 

The City is not pursuing active litigation. The current plan is for the City to ask the court for approval of this physical solution and settlement agreement in 2021.

This proposed physical solution and settlement agreement was developed in partnership with:

Ventura River Water District, Meiners Oaks Water District, Wood-Claeyssens Foundation (Taylor Ranch), Rancho Matilija Mutual Water Company and other large water users.