SWRCB Strawberry Creek Hearing Confirms Underground Interception of Spring Water Requires a Surface Water Right

Along with Rachel Doughty of Greenfire Law, WPLG Attorney Paul Kibel participated in the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) hearing on diversions by Nestle (and its successor) of waters supporting Strawberry Creek in San Bernardino County.  The hearing, initiated by the SWRCB Enforcement Unit, focused on the underground interception of spring water for bottled Arrowhead Spring Water that was tributary to Strawberry Creek. In late May 2023, the SWRCB Administrative Hearing Officer issued a final order confirming that the vast majority of underground interceptions were unlawful because the underground interception of spring water requires a surface water right, which Nestle and its successor lacked.