The great Tom Selleck water theft has been solved. As it turns out the dispute is actually a contract dispute between two different water districts and Mr. Selleck has been caught in the middle of it. He paid for water he used at his Hidden Valley Ranch from a third party a construction company) that had paid for the water from the Calleguas Municipal Water District but Mr. Selleck’s property is in a different water district and the Calleguas water district prohibits the movement of water from its district to another district without a separate contract. Oh my, the horror of it all! Mr. Selleck has wisely decided to settle out of court for the Calleguas water districts costs to hire a private investigator (how ironic) to catch the “theft” to the tune of about $22,000. To challenge in open court the costs would have probably been more than $200,000. It’s now a done deal but the lesson is clear— if you are in possession of water bottled in the Calleguas Municipal Water District and drink it in another water district don’t tell anyone because you are violating a contract between water districts and could end up in court.
You have to love a quasi-private/public entity like the Calleguas Municipal Water District that can afford to spend $22,000 on a private eye to locate thefts that are not actually thefts but movement issues and for the most part hidden contracts between water districts. But this being California, should it really surprise anyone?