Getting water rights a long haul, lawyer says

Chris Caskey, The Union Democrat /

Many options exist in the world of water for Tuolumne County, but the county is really "at the beginning" of any years-long effort to secure future water supply or water rights, according to a special water attorney.

Nicholas Jacobs of the Sacramento environmental firm Somach, Simmons and Dunn told county staff members and the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that a first step should involve bringing water providers and private water users together to develop future figures for water demand.

The county hired Somach, Simmons and Dunn in December to consult with the county on questions related to local water rights, water-related lawsuits, groundwater and similar issues.

Any pursuit of water or water rights and additional storage, he said, could require a demonstration of need.

"Having that as a foundation, of how much water do we need, should help guide your decisions," Jacobs said.

For the complete story, see the April 3, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.

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