State forces water curbs

By Alex MacLean / The Union Democrat

Some local water districts are restricting customers' usage to comply with new state regulations, even though they have enough water in storage to make it through the year.

The State Water Resources Control Board approved measures last week that streamlined the agency's enforcement of recent curtailment orders imposed on thousands of "junior" water rights holders.

The "curtailment orders" have affected some water districts in Calaveras County, but water purveyors in Tuolumne County are not expected to face any further restrictions.

The board began sending out curtailment notices in May to individuals, corporations and public agencies that have water rights secured after the state's current water-rights system was established in 1914. State law stipulates that water rights secured before 1914 have priority over those that were claimed later.

That means the state may suspend these "junior" water rights in drought years to ensure enough water is available for the "senior" water rights holders. After a curtailment order is issued, all diversions from the state's rivers and tributaries must be stopped until further notice.

The board says the curtailment orders are necessary because there is insufficient water available to meet the overall demand this year - the third year of an ongoing drought in California.

More than 7,910 curtailment notices have been sent out to junior water rights holders but only 31 percent had responded by last Tuesday, according to the State Water Resources Control Board. As a result, the board approved measures Tuesday allowing it to issue a fine of $500 per day for noncompliance. A hearing would be required before the fine could be imposed.

For the full story, see the July 8, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.

11920478
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Thursday May 26, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Homelessness, high school and the Butte Fire

05/20/2016

Cole Baisch arrived at Calaveras High School around lunchtime as the sky ... more

Avalon Care Center fined for patient death

05/24/2016

Avalon Care Center in Sonora has been fined $80,000 by the California ... more

Deputies visit schools, build community ties

05/24/2016

You would think Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Deputy Nate Yorston was Santa Claus ... more

High Sierra passes closed again

05/20/2016

Days after authorities opened Ebbetts Pass, Sonora Pass and Tioga Pass for ... more

Teens uninspired by election process

05/23/2016

An April survey by The Union Democrat of 375 high schoolers in ... more