Kit Stolz, Ojai Valley News correspondent
Last September, an environmental group filed suit against the city of Ventura for harming the Ventura River watershed, which includes lands in and around Ojai, by taking an excessive amount of water from the river.
The suit charges that the city diverted and pumped too much water from its century-old submerged dam and from pumps at Foster Park near Casitas Springs.
The group, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, has long tasked itself with supporting the coastal waters such as the Ventura River, including the steelhead trout that once thronged it. It argues in its suit that the city harms the public trust by using so much water that the river dries in the summer.
This is a potential violation of the Article 10 of the California constitution, which requires that the water resources of the state be put to the fullest possible “beneficial use, of the people and for the public welfare.”