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Environmental Law

Water Woes Lead to Suits Blaming Banking for Shortages

Posted Jul 29, 2011 6:00 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A small utility in California is claiming that the process of “water banking” damaged the water table and caused well problems and shortages for its customers.

The plaintiff, the Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District, serves only 20,000 customers, the New York Times reports. But it has filed two important test cases that challenge water banking—the process of storing water for future use or sale—and the farming interests that dominate it.

According to the story, one water bank authority targeted in the suit is controlled by a subsidiary of Roll Global, a company that also owns POM Wonderful, the fruit juice company whose pomegranate trees are watered by the authority.

The water banks disagree that their pumping caused water problems.

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