Fiscal year 2013-2014 saw dramatic changes in the governance of Central Basin water rights as a result of the third amendment to the Central Basin Groundwater Adjudication (Third Amended Judgment or Judgment). Among other things, the Judgment now permits parties holding water rights to store water in the Central Basin for later recovery. This ability to access available storage space, as well as other provisions for increased flexibility, provide the framework for the optimal utilization of the Central Basin to meet the future water demands of the region.

The Third Amended Judgment also established a new Watermaster, which replaces the Department of Water Resources in that role. The Watermaster now consists of three separate arms with different functions. The first arm is the Administrative Body, to administer the Watermaster accounting and reporting functions. The Water Replenishment District of Southern California was appointed by the court to fulfill this role.

The second arm is the Water Rights Panel which enforces issues related to the pumping rights within the adjudication. The Water Rights Panel is made up of seven water rights holders who are selected through election.



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