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Water conservation board member charged with years of felony water theft

Ventura County District Attorney's Office

VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. – Ventura County District Attorney Erik Nasarenko announced on Monday that charges have been filed against Daniel Conklin Naumann for multiple felony counts of grand theft and theft of utility services after diversion bypasses were discovered on two commercial pumps that irrigated Naumann's crops.

The Camarillo resident owns and operates Naumann Family Farms in Oxnard and is a publicly elected board member of the United Water Conservation District.

For a portion of the period he has been charged, Naumann was also an alternate board member of the Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency.

Both of those organizations manage groundwater resources for agricultural uses in Ventura County including establishing water allocations and charging agricultural users fees to pump groundwater.

Investigators with Ventura County Sheriff's Office discovered bypasses installed on two commercial water pumps that diverted pumped water to irrigation lines watering Naumann's crops before the water reached flow meters used to measure water usage for billing purposes.

According to Ventura County District Attorney's Office, Naumann allegedly diverted around $29,301 of pumped water between 2019 and 2021 without paying the required fees to Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency.

“California’s groundwater has long been in crisis because of over pumping and drought,” said
District Attorney Erik Nasarenko. "Unlawfully avoiding the water fees and allocations necessary to
preserve water only adds to this ongoing crisis. We will hold anyone who threatens our natural
resources accountable, regardless of their position."

Naumann is scheduled for arraignment on Sep. 12 of this year in courtroom 12 of Ventura County Superior Court.

Article Topic Follows: Ventura County
commercial groundwater pumps
felony grand theft
Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency
theft of utility services
United Water Conservation District
ventura county
Ventura County District Attorney's Office
water conservation

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Andrew Gillies

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