WPLG Helps Negotiate 'Groundbreaking' Groundwater Settlement in Madera County
WPLG's Paul Stanton Kibel, along with Jason Holder of the Holder Law Group, served as co-counsel for the Madera County Farm Bureau in its CEQA lawsuit against the County of Madera regarding approval of the Gunner Ranch West development. A key claim in the litigation was the impact of the development on groundwater resources. The case was settled in August 2017, and pursuant to the settlement the County adopted a Groundwater Balance Ordinance which requires that new residential developments replenish/recharge all of the groundwater used to supply these developments.
The adoption of such Groundwater Balance Ordinances is a model that could be used in counties throughout California, and may provide a means to reduce groundwater over-pumping until the groundwater plans under 2014 California's Sustainable Groundwater Act can be fully implemented.