Semitropic Water Storage District wishes to respond to your November 17, 2009, article entitled “Court Halts Unlicensed Drilling by Public Entity” (posted online at www.nationaldriller.com).

The article concerned the case of California Groundwater Association v. Semitropic Water Storage District, in which the appellate court found that Semitropic, as a public agency, was not exempt from Section 13750.5 of the California Water Code. That section requires any person who drills a well to have what is known as a C-57 license.

Semitropic is entrusted by the state of California with the development of underground water resources. We take this responsibility extremely seriously. We undertake numerous precautions when drilling our wells, and drilling is always closely supervised by a highly qualified team of civil engineers, hydro geologists and consulting engineers.

Semitropic also retained a C-57 licensed contractor prior to the association filing its lawsuit, which the court confirmed satisfied the requirements of Section 13750.5.

In addition, the association filed an injunction against Semitropic seeking to have all well drilling suspended. The trial court denied that injunction, and the association did not challenge the court’s decision. Semitropic has never been ordered to halt drilling wells.

We wanted to call this to your readers’ attention in case they were left with the notion that Semitropic was, or is, putting California’s valuable water resources in jeopardy. As our record will attest, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Thank you for the opportunity to respond.

William Boschman
Semitropic Water Storage District
Wasco, Calif.