James Irrigation District Sues Westlands Water District Over Mendota Pool Group 20-Year Exchange Program

May 2020

California Water Law & Policy Reporter, Volume 30, Number 8

On February 20, 2020, James Irrigation District filed a petition for writ of mandate and complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief (“Petition”) challenging Westlands Water District’s approval of the Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for the Mendota Pool Group 20-Year Groundwater Exchange Program (“Exchange Program”). James Irrigation Dist. v. Westlands Water Dist., Fresno County Superior Court, No. 20CECG00688. The Exchange Program contemplates the diversion of up to 400,000 acre-feet of Central Valley Project (CVP) water over the course of 20 years to the Mendota Pool Group, which is comprised of landowners within Westlands Water District. In exchange, the Mendota Pool Group would pump non-CVP groundwater that Reclamation could then use to meet other CVP contractual demands at the Mendota Pool.

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