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Pauma water districts wait for decision in lawsuit


August 21, 2013
Two water districts in Pauma Valley, Yuima Municipal Water District and Rancho Pauma Mutual Water Company, are waiting for the decision of a superior court judge in a case where Rancho Pauma challenged the right of Yuima to draw more than 1,350 acre feet a year from the five wells of the Rincon Basin.

Last week Judge Robert Dahlquist of the North County Superior Court told the litigants that he would issue a decision in two weeks.

Yuima Municipal Water District Yuima encompasses 13,460 acres (21 square miles) including most of Pauma Valley and going out to Wilderness Gardens Preserve. Rancho Pauma Mutual Water Co., includes the area of the Pauma Valley Country Club.

The dispute is over the meaning of an earlier judge's decision made in 1953 that Yuima believes entitles it to take more than 1,350 AF annually, and which Rancho Pauma believes does not entitle it to do so.

At one point during the several hours of testimony and arguments by the opposing attorneys the judge was entertaining a contempt ruling against Yuima, but later removed it from possible results, commenting that the lawsuit was over an "honest dispute" over the meaning of the terms of the judgment.

If Yuima loses the case it will result in a significant financial hit on its ratepayers, so it is likely to appeal any adverse ruling.

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