Successfully Concluding a Multi-Year Water Rights Battle for Goleta Water District

After a seven-year legal battle, we obtained a successful monetary settlement for our client, the Goleta Water District.

The case began in 2015 as a water rights dispute with the prominent owner of an 800-acre private ranch, who sought to drill wells to access water stored under his property and export it to other users. Because the District and its experts believed that the water beneath the ranch property recharges the alluvial basin used as a water source for Goleta residents, the District filed suit to prevent the ranch’s export program from harming that critical water supply.

The hard-fought litigation involved extensive technical evidence and analyses from multiple expert witnesses, dozens of contested motions and a 15-day court trial in 2016.

As the parties were just weeks away from a second trial to take place late spring of 2022, the parties settled, with the ranch agreeing to pay a significant amount to the District to end the case. The District may use the settlement funds to mitigate any harm caused to its water supplies or for any other purpose.

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