Yes, the City of Ventura has been forced to retain experienced, specialized outside water counsel and hydrology experts to represent the City in this litigation to effectively defend the City’s water rights on behalf of its customers. Being sued and defending water rights costs money. If Plaintiffs do not drop their lawsuit or a mediated solution is not reached in the short term, this case will cost the City hundreds of thousands and likely several million dollars to defend. These legal and expert costs will be borne by the City’s water fund. The City’s current schedule of water rate increases through Fiscal Year 2025-26 is anticipated to sufficiently fund the City’s defense costs in this case; however, additional rate increases may be necessary depending on how the case proceeds.