The Central Basin Third Amendment Judgment was entered by the Los Angeles Superior Court on December 23, 2013. In it, for the first time in this area, the Court allows the water rights holders, to have direct input into how the Judgment is administered and enforced. The Judgment confirms that the Department of Water Resources (DWR) will be retiring as the Court appointed Watermaster and mandates the creation of a new Watermaster. DWR retired effective June 30 and all records were been transferred to the new Watermaster. Also anticipated is a refund of FY 2013-2014 fees over collected by DWR which will be transferred to the new Watermaster.
Under this new Judgment, the Watermaster will be composed of three bodies, one of which is the Water Rights Panel (The Panel), the second is the Administrative Body (WRD) to accept pumping reports and summarize records for review by the Panel, and the third body is the Storage Panel which consists of The Panel plus the WRD Board of Directors.
The Panel is made up of seven Central Basin water rights holders. Six are elected by their representative group, with votes weighted by water rights; one member by those holding less than 3,000 acre feet, one by the Small Pumpers Group, One by those holding between 3,000 and 10,000 acre feet, and three by those holding greater than 10,000 acre feet water rights APA. The seventh Panel Member is elected At Large by all water rights holders at one vote each.
Along with the Administrative Body and the Storage Panel, the Water Rights Panel began its Watermaster duties in July 2014.