Helping to Negotiate a "Historic" & "Morally Just" Water Rights Settlement

We worked with our Siskiyou County client, Crystal Geyser Roxane, to help it facilitate a water rights purchase agreement, which guaranteed water supply to the City of Weed, California.

Weed’s city manager Tim Rundel stated, "It's a historic day for the City of Weed. We've now secured water rights needed to provide water to the citizens of Weed indefinitely." This complex, three-party resolution, approved by the Weed City Council, involved a sale agreement with Crystal Geyser Roxane (GCR) for water rights to two cubic feet-per-second from Beaughan Springs. The third party was Roseburg Forest Products, which sold Beaughan water rights for 2.0 cfs to CGR. The difference between Roseburg's $2.207 million sale price and CGR's $1.207 million sale price for the same water is $1 million. CGR is facilitating the sale to the city by taking the loss, which it views as a donation to the city. Weed will pay nothing for the water it distributes to its utility customers once the zero-interest purchase price to CGR has been paid off.

Our team helped advise on the acquisition of water rights, valuation issues, and the resolution of a pending eminent domain action. Weed dismissed an eminent domain lawsuit it had against Roseburg, and terminated the 10-year water lease it had with the wood products company. Nossaman assisted with the drafting of the transactional documents transferring the water rights and property.

This was a very gratifying result for Nossaman, our client GCR and all parties involved. Ronan Papillaud, CGR's owner and CEO, noted, “We are not perfect, but our goal is to always try to do the right thing. Nowadays in business, a short-term vision is the norm. We, as a private enterprise, can do things differently and not simply for purely financial reasons.” Weed councilor Ken Palfini aptly summed up the positive outcome stating, “I want to thank Crystal Geyser. They're a good community partner who recognizes the value of what's morally just.”

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