Court Approves Stipulated Judgment for the Hemet/ San Jacinto Management Area
After more than twelve years of what began as contentious meetings and morphed into collaborative policy making sessions among stakeholders of the Hemet/San Jacinto management area in Riverside County, a Stipulated Judgment was approved by the Superior Court in April 2013. This friendly adjudication establishes individual and collective rights to groundwater and surface water in the Hemet/San Jacinto management area, provides for efficient and coordinated management of the area to reduce groundwater pumping, and establishes a Watermaster Board to implement a Water Management Plan. Parties involved in this effort include Eastern Municipal Water District, Lake Hemet Municipal Water District, the City of Hemet, the City of San Jacinto and several private agricultural pumpers in the management area.
Of note, the Judgment will protect the rights of the Soboba Tribe who made claims against the two water districts for alleged infringements on their water rights in the San Jacinto River. The Soboba Settlement Agreement was enacted by the Soboba Settlement Act, signed by the Secretary of the Interior and entered into the Federal Register on November 28, 2011.