The Court’s next monthly status conference is on Monday, June 21, 2021 at 1:30 p.m. At the Status Conference, the Court will also conduct a hearing on the Proposing Parties’ Motion to Bifurcate and on a separate motion that asks the Court to appoint a non-party expert on watershed hydrology.
The five parties proposing the physical solution, including the City of Ventura, filed this motion asking the Court to establish a first phase of the case that focuses on the boundaries of the four groundwater basins, the boundaries of the watershed and the connection between the four basins and surface waters. The technical term for such a phasing process is called “bifurcation.” The Court has the power to “bifurcate” or phase the determination of specific issues or specific causes of action.
The general idea is to focus the initial phase of trial on the questions of boundaries and hydrologic connectivity in the Ventura River Watershed. It is anticipated that the Court will set a date for this first phase trial at the hearing. In addition, the Court will rule on whether it should appoint a separate expert in addition to the experts retained by the parties to provide opinions on watershed hydrology.