California State Water Resources Control Board Votes To End Water Diversions For Over 5,700 Farmers

The California State Water Resources Control Board unanimously voted 5-0 on Tuesday to stop water diversions for thousands of Californians in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed on Tuesday.

According to the new limitations, 5,700 water right holders, including farmers and landowners, would no longer be able to divert water from the Sacramento and San Joaquin River watersheds for agricultural use. Those who want to divert 55 gallons or more per day from water sources in this region must send in a petition to the Deputy Director of the Board to get approval. All water use also has to be reported by those who have water rights in the region.

Failure to comply will result in penalties as high as $1,000 per day, as well as up to $2,500 for each acre-foot of water diverted without expressed permission. While enforcement will be mainly targeted at those that disrupt water flow, they can be applied to anyone.

While the new diversion ban still needs approval by the Office of Administrative Law, it is widely expected to be accepted by them, with the new regulations likely to begin by August 16th.

“Growers will have to risk significant fines and penalties just to find out whether the Board actually has the authority it claims. Either way, they lose,” expressed Board Deputy Director of Water Rights Erik Ekdahl on Tuesday.

The new diversion ban stems directly from the state’s worsening drought. Spurred by high temperatures, low precipitation, mountain snowpack being lesser than expected, and, most critically, the state draining reservoirs largely for environmental use rather than urban or agricultural uses, as the Globe has reported, the new diversion plan is only the latest blow against Northern and Central Valley farmers this year. Thousands of farmers have already been affected by water shutoffs, including more that 4,000 in a previous June Sacramento-San Joaquin watershed sweep….

Luckily, “non-essential” people tend to eat less.   It’s a good thing too since the pentagon brass is too lazy to utilize their weaponized weather technology in defense of their own country.

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