In recent years, California has been facing one of the worst recorded droughts of all time. It got so catastrophic, in fact, that a State of Emergency was declared by Governor Brown in January in which, according to the state of California’s website, he “directed state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for water shortages.” However, all necessary actions to prepare for water shortages have not been taken. As ruled by a state judge on Friday, California regulators are guilty of violating the rights of farmers by forcing them to cut back on their already dwindling water supply without any prior notice.
According to California law, as reported by Reuters, the State Water Resources Control Board is not allowed to demand that farmers cease extracting water from nearby rivers and streams without a “pre-deprivation hearing.”
According to the Sacramento Bee, this ruling could affect the ability of regulators to enforce new water curtailment rules for as many as 9,000 Californian farmers that contribute greatly to California’s largely agriculturally based economy.
While the regulators are still allowed to punish those who have violated the water code or have used Californian waters illegally, their permissions have been greatly decreased. Illegal activity involving the diminishing Californian water supply, including but not limited to unauthorized diversions of water will continue to be fined up to $1,000 per day and $2,500 per acre-foot of water diverted.
The new laws state that each city and town is required to cut back on their water usage by between 4 and 36 percent depending on the city or town.
The board has issued a statement which read: “The Court has provided an opportunity for additional briefing on these issues with a further hearing on the matter. The Board looks forward to this opportunity for addition briefing and to engaging with the petitioners on these issues.”
The Court has provided an opportunity for additional briefing on these issues with a further hearing on the matter. The Board looks forward to this opportunity for addition briefing and to engaging with the petitioners on these issues.
If the Board is successful in it’s plight to overturn the hearing, they will once again regain their ability to have a wider scope of control over the Californian water supply.
In other news, Tom Selleck has been singled out for stealing water in a drought shaming lawsuit.
What are your thoughts on California’s drought?