OJAI : City Delays Ban on Water-Well Drilling

The Ojai City Council this week delayed adoption of an emergency ban on drilling water wells.

Consideration of the measure was delayed until Oct. 9 after City Atty. Monte Widders asked for more time to research legal issues involved in banning well drilling where a water shortage exists.

The Casitas Municipal Water District declared an emergency shortage throughout the Ojai Valley in April that could continue indefinitely. Southern California Water Co., which has held the city's water franchise since 1948 and has proposed drilling a new well just outside the city limits, submitted a letter to the city objecting to the proposed six-month ban.

Although the company's plan would not be affected by a city ban, the letter says well drilling is a matter of private property rights.

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