Schedule Set for Phase 1 Trial

At status conferences in July 2021, the court granted the Proposing Parties’ motion to bifurcate.  Before holding a hearing for the court to consider adopting the proposed physical solution, several parties in the Ojai Basin and Upper Ojai Basin wanted the City to first prove that those basins are interconnected with the Ventura River. In response to those requests, the Proposing Parties filed this request with the Court to have those issues tried first during a Phase 1 trial. 

The Judge granted the request and set the Phase 1 trial to begin on Feb. 14, 2022 at 10a.m. with a Pretrial Conference to be held on Feb. 2, 2022 in Department No. 010, 312 North Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. The Phase 1 trial will address the boundaries of the watershed and the four groundwater basins and the interconnection between surface water and groundwater in the Ventura River Watershed. 

The City of Ventura was required to serve its expert disclosures, including expert witness reports by Aug. 31, 2021. The State Water Resources Control Board, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Parks Department, Casitas Municipal Water District, City of Ojai, the East Ojai Group, and the Proposing Parties (Ventura River Water District, Meiners Oaks Water District, Wood-Claeyssens Foundation (Taylor Ranch), and Rancho Matilija Mutual Water Company) must serve their expert disclosures, including expert witness reports, by Sept. 24, 2021.  All other parties must serve their expert disclosures, including expert witness reports, by Oct. 22, 2021.  Additional information is available at

In July 2021, the Proposed Parties lodged a revised Public Draft of the Proposed Physical Solution to protect the Ventura River Watershed.  It is available here: