The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a legal challenge to the City of Santa Maria’s groundwater basin plan, ending a legal battle over water rights that’s been going on for 16 years.
In 1997, the Santa Maria Valley Water Conservation District filed the first lawsuit over the 163,000 acre groundwater basin in northern Santa Barbara, and Southern San Luis Obispo County.
A Superior Court judge approved a management plan for water rights from the groundwater basin, which included the city’s right to pump water.
But, some landowners, and farmers challenged the management plan, leading to a legal fight which made its way to the nation’s high court.
By refusing to hear the case, the city’s right to water allocated in lower court decisions was affirmed.