FIREWORKS!!! Armegeddon Averted, City of Navy Attempts to Smooth Ruffled Feathers. Humble Publisher Delivers Eloquent Speech, Declares War on Attorneys!

“There is NO SUCH THING as Navy’s Federal Reserve Water Rights! PERIOD!!”

Ridgecrest CA, Sept. 13, 2021 Indian Wells Valley Water District Meeting

9/15 Update: Public Comment on IWV Youtube channel begins at: 00:00 (Replinishment Fee) and 1:31:42 (IWVGA)

In perhaps the most important meeting of the year for the Indian Wells Valley Water District, fireworks erupted and molotov cocktails were thrown back at the City of Navy by the IWVWD’s attorneys, one of whom promised to learn why your humble publisher has been pounding the table for well over a year in response to the U.S. Navy’s bogus assertion that it has “Federal Reserve Water Rights”.

It was a packed house at the water district’s monthly meeting. The meeting was attended by Mayor Eric Bruen, Councilmembers Kyle Blades and Solomon Rajaratnam, as well as City Manager Ron Strand. Publisher of The News Review Pat Farris also attended, and a great time was had by all.

The meeting began with a well-prepared response to the City of Navy’s demands that the Water District borrow $25,000,000 in order to buy water that’s already been wasted by someone else, aka “IWVGA Fees”, aka “Basin Replenishment Fees”. This stupid fee has resulted in a doubling of water bills for many district customers and are now the focus of the debate in the Great Indian Wells Valley Water War of 2021.

City resident Mr. Mike Neel delivered a personal check made out directly to the IWV Groundwater Authority for his “IWVGA Fee” with “Paid Under Protest” written at the bottom. The water district accounting department will have to figure that one out, but needless to say, he made a point: Why is the Water District forced to collect a clearly fraudulent (i.e engaging in fraud; deceitful.) fee for the Groundwater Authority? We’re not going to explain why it’s clearly fraudulent, you can just assume the whole Groundwater Authority is a fraudulent and un-sustainable result of the State of California’s attempt to force conservation on water users everywhere. It’s not going to work.

We’re not going to explain why the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) is a bomb, you only need to watch the meeting. Speaking of bombs, after delivering an eloquent six minute speech that was cut off by the time buzzer at five minutes, the humble and gracious publisher of, me, was nearly kicked out of the meeting after trying to explain how everyone has their heads up their asses. “This is insanity!” he yelled as shocked attendees watched in amusement and wonder.

Needless to say, the “Basin Replenishment Fee” that has caused water district customers to deluge the customer service department with angry callers was finally determined to be a fee for past water use. Do you get it yet? Not only has the idea of collecting a fee on a water bill for something that was used in the distant past resulting in the “severe overdraft” status of the IWV’s water basin, the whole concept of “Refilling the Basin” was called in my long-time valley resident Judy Decker, who also reminded the board that 35 years ago an attempt was made to define the IWV’s Water Basin as the whole Indian Wells Valley, not just the portion of the IWV that is NOT OCCUPIED by the U.S. Navy! Whew!!

We’re happy to report that the IWV Water District will not, repeat, will not be adding any more debt to it’s balance sheet in order to borrow $25,000,000 to buy water in the future that was consumed in the past. This is the very definition of INSANITY. Are you getting this yet? Anyone?

Finally, and this is the most important thing that may come out of the meeting: The Navy DOES NOT have Federal Reserve Water Rights. Why? We’ll leave that to the high-falutin water attorney from down south who admitted he doesn’t know what Federal Reserve Water Rights are and why the Navy can’t assert such rights. He promised to get back to the Board of the Water District and we can’t wait to hear his analysis. He promised to check it out. We will help get to the bottom of Navy’s claim on our water rights:

Federal Reserved Water Rights And State Law Claims (

And as we’ve said before, this is a very BIG DEAL!


The Navy’s claim that they have Federal Reserve Water Rights should be challenged. (

And here,

Are Federal Reserve Water Rights the really BIG Deal, or is it a Land Deal (

And we’ll say so again here,

PUBLIC NOTICE of Intention to File a CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT in the Federal Court of Jurisdiction for Kern County, California as follows: Mike Sinnott, Trustee of the Pauline B. Sinnott Revocable Family Trust, Plaintiff v. Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority et al. (

If you’d like to see HOW we got here, look here:

02/21/19 US Navy asserts Federal Reserve Water Rights in letter to GA (pdf) (

If there’s any doubt why we continue to pound the table on this issue, start by really re-reading The Federal Reserved Water Rights And State Law Claims ( then get back to us and explain where you find any reference to case law that involves FRWR and a military reservation on BLM Land Status Withdrawn and we’ll stop doing so.

Finally, below is the full text of your gracious publisher’s speech given at the beginning of the Meeting. But first, an apology to Mayor Bruen for letting my head explode in his face at the end of the Meeting: I am sorry that I lost control and let my head explode in your face. I hope you understand. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to meet you for the first time in the parking lot along with Mr. Strand and Mr. Blades. I am confident we can work together and look forward to your call.

It was a very good night at the Water District on Monday night. We’ll see if the IWVWD Board of Directors is up to the challenge and whether they will join us in challenging Navy’s Assertion of FRWR in Federal Court.


Mike Sinnott, Publisher

Bonus laughs for readers that got this far (What are those IWVGA Fees on your water bill):

Welcome to the Great Indian Wells Valley Water War of 2021

If there ever was a time for “We the People” to stand up and make our voices heard, it’s right here, right now.

Over the last 9 months, we’ve watched our nation walk into the shadow of the valley of death.

I believe the vast majority in our country have been awakened and you’ll understand why I’m willing to stand here today and you’ll know why I’m doing what I’m about to do.

I intend to file a Class Action lawsuit in Federal Courth against the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority, et al.
“Et Al” is Latin for “and others”. Who are the others? Stay tuned.

I’m here today because of what you’re doing as a Board of Directors. You’re leading the way.

You had the guts to file a “Comprehensive Adjudication” lawsuit against the Groundwater Authority and what you are demonstrating is your Leadership with action. Most importantly, it’s the right thing to do…

It’s true, if you hadn’t filed your lawsuit, I wouldn’t be planning to file a Class Action Lawsuit in a Federal Court. I’m willing to be the sacrificial lamb so to speak, but someone has to do it or we’re toast, and that’s not a joke. But it’s the Indian Wells Valley Water District that’s leading the way.

It’s not only the right thing to do, we as Americans have an obligation and a duty to protect our rights or, as you can see, we’ll lose them, and we’ll lose them ALL.

This could be a fun Class Action Lawsuit if there is such a thing. Everyone in the Valley can play along and join the fight.

Here’s two things you must keep in mind if you’re a resident in the Indian Wells Valley:

  1. If there’s a government agency in this town that truly represents “We the People”, it’s the Indian Wells Valley Water District. You’re fortunate to have Don Zdeba as your general manager. I don’t know why he’s still here, I thought he’d be retired by now and moving to Arizona. I would like to thank Don for sticking around. You may have to be here a little longer.

Don, I would have come out of my shoes too if the City Council had treated me that way. I’m with you.

This is OUR water district. We built it and we paid for it. And Don has been for the entire era of SGMA. This is very important for the water district, and it is important that he stay here until we resolve this mess. Sorry Don.

  1. In addition to working to bring us clean fresh water, you know this isn’t just about importing water or paying a replenishment fee to refill the Basin, which by the way is the same thing as paying for water that someone else consumed in the past, you know it’s all about your future and your children and grandchildren’s future.

There aren’t many people in the valley that understand water and wells. There’s no need to drink bottled water in the Indian Wells Valley Water District. Think of fresh mountain spring water, without the arsenic. It’s about the best you can get, bar none.

We have to have water. It’s the springboard of life.

I had the good fortune to live in the most dynamic growth economy in history for 35 years, and it was water that started it all. The Central Arizona Canal is the only reason that Phoenix metro area has 4 1/2 million people.

Now I’m not suggesting that Growth is a good thing for the Indian Wells Valley. If we’re going to grow, we must fix first what we have. The work your doing now is part of that. But Growth for the sake of growth is a bad thing. It’s unsustainable. We live in a desert. Phoenix is a desert and the growth in Phoenix is absolutely unsustainable. Look at Las Vegas too. Although they’ve been able to bank some of their Colorado River Water using strong conservation programs, all the States in the Compact are running out of water.

This is the biggest headline that should be in the news for September 13, 2021: First-Ever Colorado River Water Shortage Declaration Spurs Water Cuts in the Southwest. That’s today folks. It’s never happened in the 100 year history of the Colorado River Compact.

You know this is about private property rights which are one and the same with water rights. It’s Our WATER, not Navy’s, and what’s good for us is good for them. In addition, you shouldn’t think that there isn’t enough water in our basin. I believe there’s more than just a 43 year supply, and we have the time to get it right. On that reason and that reason alone, you should’nt borrow any money to pay for a replenishment fee. It’s just a ruse to borrow money to pay for water you already drank. I’m glad to see that the Water District also has good judgement and has declined the City of Ridgecrest’s demands.

We can talk about that another day, now that perhaps we’ve got the Navy’s attention. And I don’t believe the Mayor when he tries to scare you by telling you Armegeddon is coming with a 75% water reduction. Even he admits he doesn’t know about water, but he invests in it. That should tell you something. He’s setting you up to be a loser.

And we’re Americans and we don’t like losing. When our leaders fail in their sacred duties to uphold their obligations to the people, it’s time to fight. We’ve been fighting since the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 4, 1776. We may have to take on the Navy and the Bureau of Land Managment, the two big gorillas in our house.

I smell the thrill of victory in the air and the pendulum is swinging back our way.

If anything is to be learned from the tragedies of the Civil War that began in 1861, World War 1 and 2, and the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Vietnam and Korea, it’s that in war there are no winners… China Lake NAWS shouldn’t be in competition with us when it comes to water. I don’t know what to say about their strategy. They are unwilling to come to the table and are using back door methods to get their way. They are NOT good neighbors. I know many of you don’t like to hear that, but that’s the Truth.

If the U.S. Navy can’t figure this out and offer a solutions we all lose. We’re at war with ourselves.

There will be no winners unless we learn from the mistakes made in the past and the Navy and City of Ridgecrest have made plenty going back in time since the beginning.

One of the most important things my Dad ever taught me is to not be a quitter. So here I am in Ridgecrest California, and I’m putting my money where my mouth is.

Most importantly for you, I’ll probably have to keep my mouth shut for a while and that’s not going to be easy as my friends will probably tell you. I’m sure the there are few out there that are jumping up and down with joy. I’m not making any friends here. Most of you know what happens in this town if you get out of line. So I’m going to suggest we all get out of line for a change and let them sweat a little. Cancel culture isn’t necessarily new, it’s been going on a long time it’s just called something different.

I’m doing what I believe is the right thing, just as the IWVWD is doing the right thing and Searles Valley Minerals is doing the right thing.

We have no conflicts of interest and the Navy doesn’t either. This isn’t about their mission or encroachment. They just don’t know it. I shouldn’t have to say this, the Navy I’m talking about isn’t the one with the people in uniform. It’s the invisible bureaucracy of the Department of Defense and the Contractors.

There’s every reason for IWVWD and SVM to join in this Class Action because we have no conflicts of interest as far as I know, but I’m not an attorney.

If there ever was a time when our nation needs leadership, it’s right here, right now. It starts at a local level, and we have to have water or we shrivel up and die.

There’s a reason for each and every one of you to be here, maybe you’ve found your purpose. You are the only people that can solve this problem because you understand what’s at stake.

I’m sure you know it’s a thankless job, it’s not glamorous to be on the water board, and you don’t get to bloviate from the da-is at the City Council, but to each and every one of you I thank you for the job your doing and I pray you don’t quit. This is a fight worth having for more reasons than we know.

I know you understand how serious your job is and I know you’re doing the right thing not only for the people in the Indian Wells Valley, but for the whole State of California. This lawsuit will break new ground at the Federal level, and it will supercede the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act with regard to our rights on issues of private property and water.

Maybe someday someone who knows that will tell you how important your efforts are and they will thank you. That will make it all worthwhile. We must win this one and dominoes will start to fall. I’ll keep you posted on

Judging from the response I’ve received on the Public Notice of my Intention to file in Federal Court, you have the people on your side.

I ask the Indian Wells Valley Water District and Searles Valley Minerals to join with me and I promise you I won’t quit and We the People will win!

Thank you for your consideration in this matter. I pray you will join in this Class Action and I Thank you.

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