The State Water Resources Control Board approved a proposal from senior right holders in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to voluntarily cut back water use.
The rights go back to Gold Rush days. It’s first-come, first-served for the rights holders when it comes to taking water. The state has never ordered cuts to senior water rights holders.
California State Parks officials say they’re concerned recreational boaters won’t realize the potential dangers the lower water levels bring.
Every time it rains, the two 18,000-gallon storage tanks fill up. But the drought has dwindled their supply to about half. With a dry summer projected, the facility runs the risk of running out.
Delta farmers have had senior water rights, priority access to water, because their land sits on the river. But farmers are learning they have to stop pumping water from the San Joaquin River.
Delta farmers say there were times this year the San Joaquin River got so low, they could see the bottom of it. They say they aren’t surprised senior water rights holders are now being asked to conserve.
A senior water official told The Associated Press Wednesday that he would decide whether to accept the offer by Friday. The concession by farmers in the Sacramento and San Joaquin river delta could be one of the most important yet forced by California’s record four-year drought.
The state now collects the records every three years on a staggered basis, meaning its information is always out of date. State officials acknowledge it’s not adequate when they are dealing with a water crisis.
While many in California struggle with the severe drought, people in one upscale community in San Joaquin County are still paying a flat rate, and using as much water as they want.
The lookout towers, including one at Wolf Mountain in Grass Valley, will now reopen. They need volunteers to keep watch. Persistent vandalism forced Cal Fire to shutter the towers for the past two fire seasons.
The park is conserving water by using a sophisticated filter system that keeps the water clean for two weeks. Instead of recycling fresh water up to six times a day like most water parks, Sunsplash only needs to change it out every two weeks.
The effects could be serious. Arizona’s allocation of Colorado River water could be cut 11.4 percent, or by an amount normally used by more than 600,000 homes. Nevada’s share could be reduced 4.3 percent. Think 26,000 homes.