Fontana Water Company ordered to halt pumping

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The Fontana Water Company is being sued by other agencies who claim it's been pumping at least three times its fair share of water from the Rialto-Colton groundwater basin.

Four pumping stations belonging to the privately owned Fontana Water Company are now closed following a judge's ruling.

The West Valley Water District and two other agencies filed a lawsuit against the water company, claiming it's been pumping at least three times its fair share of water from the Rialto-Colton groundwater basin for years to avoid raising rates on its customers.

In early February, San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Bryan Foster ordered a temporary shutdown of the wells.

"Everybody needs to play by the same rules," said Butch Araiza, general manager of the West Valley Water District. "I've had to raise my rates to be able to buy extra water to bring into this area from the state water project. I know it probably hurts them also, but that's just what we have to do."

The Fontana Water Company released the following statement when contacted by Eyewitness News: "Fontana Water Company draws on a diverse set of resources at any given time. It is safe to say, however, that those wells are a very important and cost effective source of supply for our customers and we are diligently working to re-engineer our operations to assure sufficient water for all of our customers."

With the judge's injunction in place, the four pumping stations will remain closed until Sept. 30. The case is set to go to trial this summer.
Related Topics:
california waterwater conservationwatercourt caselawsuitsan bernardino countyFontana
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