LANCASTER – Directors of the Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency set in motion court-directed procedures to create a Watermaster Organization empowered to monitor the groundwater basin and implement the Final Judgment signed by Judge Komar on Dec. 23, 2015.
In their first meeting of the year following settlement of long-running litigation over water rights adjudication, AVEK, as directed by the court, took action to begin the Watermaster transition process.
The Judgment specifies that AVEK and Los Angeles County Waterworks District 40 each occupy a seat, along with another public water supplier to be named later. The remaining seats will be filled by two landowner representatives to be determined based on majority vote of parties and proportionate share of Production Rights.
The Watermaster Board will be tasked with arriving at a unanimous decision to hire the engineer who will serve as Watermaster Engineer, who can only be removed from the job by court action. While AVEK directors welcomed the end of litigation and declared the settlement a good thing for the Antelope Valley, some cautioned that the key to success moving forward is assuring that the Watermaster Board select the right firm for the Watermaster engineer position.
Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency voted Jan. 12 to appoint AVEK Division 5 Director Robert A. Parris as AVEK’s representative to the new Watermaster Board.
The first in a planned series of public meetings on the Watermaster implementation will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21 in the council chambers of Lancaster City Hall, 44933 Fern Avenue.
This first meeting is intended to provide the various parties with information and promote open discussion about the next steps in seating the Watermaster board and advisory committee.
The eventual monthly meetings are expected to establish rules, regulations, schedules and staffing for the Watermaster Board’s advisory committees and sub-committees.