Resnick’s water bank takes big judicial hit

March 6, 2014
Stewart Resnick

Stewart Resnick

Billionaire Stewart Resnick’s nut dynasty in the Central Valley has taken a major hit following a ruling Wednesday by a Sacramento judge that state officials failed to “properly analyze” the environmental impact of the Kern Water Bank. [Los Angeles Times]

That ruling calls into question elements of the controversial practice of “water banking,” and may seriously impede efforts by state water developers to create more of these banks.

Resnick and his agribusiness giant Paramount Farms gained control of the Kern Water Bank through a series of secret maneuvers two decades ago, and has dealt with lawsuits ever since.

Resnick purchased the 750-acre Hardham Ranch on the southeastern edge of Paso Robles in 2010 and quietly converted the land from a dry-farm ranch to a fully planted and irrigated vineyard. Numerous professional associates of Resnick’s are now involved in plans to form a transfer-capable water district to manage the Paso Robles water basin.

Judge Timothy Frawley’s decision noted the potential of damaging effects of the Kern Water Bank on groundwater supplies and quality. Banking is the practice of storing water when supplies are abundant to use in dry periods, a practice which also creates the opportunity and infrastructure to sell, swap, transfer or barter water with geographically-distant users.

In the Imperial Valley, a fiercely-fought scrap over the sale of water from farms to cities has become mired in litigation despite being hailed in 2003 as a “good deal” for everyone. [Los Angeles Times]


15 Comments

  1. R.Hodin says:

    Water banks are just like Wall Street banks. The only thing stored in them is paper. No water. No money.

    Just scraps of scrip blowing around.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2

  2. Pelican1 says:

    Is a “nut” dynasty in this case a noun, or an adjective?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  3. Citizen says:

    Mecham is on KPRL (1:23 pm) saying that the proposed water district has constitutional problems (legal issues with local proposed changes) and he doesn’t think it will be approved by the state legislature. He just returned from Sacramento.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 0

    • kayaknut says:

      That will upset Mr. Resnick and he might need to call in some favors…. Do I hear Katcho Achadjian’s phone ringing?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 3

    • Jorge Estrada says:

      I’m very disappointed that our Board of Supervisors with exception of the wiser, Debby Arnold, voted to mover forward on these costly debates that threaten the rural property owners. I know that political employment is about votes but there is nothing right about city voters have unconstitutional control within or outside of their city limits.

      I will remember how the cities supported being exempt from the drought ordinance.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  4. pasoman2 says:

    Now maybe the people of this county will see what this all about.
    Maybe even BOS Mecham,Hill and Gibson Will start getting a clue about this issue.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 38 Thumb down 3

    • kayaknut says:

      Will Mr. Gibson and Mr. Hill get a clue, hardly.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 31 Thumb down 4

      • OnTheOtherHand says:

        They don’t need a clue — they know which side of their bread (campaign funds) is buttered and keeping it that way is all they care about.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

        • SLOBIRD says:

          Let’s not let Mechan off the hook on this. He was swimming with the nasty boys and fully engaged in this scheme. Elections are coming and we should all remember the players who wanted to rush this through the pipeline, wouldn’t listen to the locals, and didn’t care what was right, just what they wanted.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

    • MaryMalone says:

      I can’t say for Mecham, but I think Hill and Gibson are so morally and ethically bankrupt that it isn’t a questioning of seeing of what it is all about… it is a question of knowing what is going on and turning a blind eye.

      Adam Hill is a doofus, but Gibson is plenty smart. I don’t think he is ignorant about the issue and its negative and life-changing impact on the average Paso GW Basin water consumer.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. smiley says:

    Next, guys like this will figure out a way to suck up all the air and we will have to pay to breath e.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 40 Thumb down 0

    • euroamerican says:

      Back in the day there was a king who taxed the people on how much daylight entered their homes. It resulted in the people taking out their windows and filling in the space. That is where the saying ‘Daylight robbery’ comes from.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  6. pigsrule says:

    Unintended consequences of water banking and politically controlled water districts. And why is North County headed down that same path?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 46 Thumb down 0

    • debbieisout says:

      pigsrule, because there are people in this county who think they are going to made money like Resnick

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 1

      • MaryMalone says:

        Or are going to profit from using their power as an elected official to facilitate Resnick’s avarice and greed.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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