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

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

The state is draining reservoirs largely for environmental use rather than urban or agricultural uses

By Evan Symon, August 4, 2021 2:19 pm

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.

“This drought is very real,” said Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross in a statement on Tuesday. “It is a painful moment. This year there’s plenty of pain to go around.”

“Mother Nature and climate change have brought us the situation that we have. And therefore the decisions that you have to make have very real impacts on people. But not making these decisions would have even more horrendous impacts for people.”

Board places thousands more farmers in danger by stopping diversions

Most impacted are farmers, who despite making their case to the Board on Tuesday for continued water, now face additional financial burdens as a result.

“They took away my livelihood just like that,” explained Central Valley farmer Raul Martinez to the Globe on Wednesday. “I was part of an earlier cut, and now, looking out over my fields right now with everything dried up, I can’t explain my anger to the state.”

“They flushed so much water out to help [endangered] fish that they forgot to think about the people affected. And if they don’t care about us, then about the environmental impact of all these dead farms. And if they don’t care about that, then about the food impact, which could lead to shortages of some things. And if they don’t care about that, then look at all the lost money the state and county now has to deal with from lost taxes on these crops. I don’t think they realized all these consequences. You drive out here, and you know exactly where the cut off happened, because everything looks alive until it is suddenly dead.”

“It’s hard to explain to my kids what happened, but the story that stuck was where I compared the state water people to Thanos from The Avengers movies. They decided that hurting a lot of people was needed, so they ‘snapped’ their power on all the farmers and got rid of a lot of us. They immediately got that then.”

In addition to the steadfast opposition from farmers, many lawmakers decried the latest diversions on Tuesday and Wednesday, with both Republicans and Democrats largely siding with the farmers over the diversions. In particular, many were worried about the conditions the farmers now faced, as well as food supply issues.

“The regulation would disrupt the critical production of essential food,” argued Senator Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) on Tuesday. “Instead, the state should focus on expanding water storage and upgrading its existing water infrastructure, not punish local water managers.”

Assemblyman Adam Gray (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Others questioned if the actions by the board on Tuesday were even legal.

“The curtailment orders for senior water rights holders is one of the most destructive measures possible,” added Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced). “The board’s legal authority is by no means certain. 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.”

More water restrictions in the Northern and Central areas of the state are expected in the coming weeks, with the issue also expected to go before Governor Gavin Newsom and candidates for Governor in the upcoming recall race.

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

    1. Spot on – so we can’t have cattle=beef, and food sources to feed live stock and all the vegans but water 💦 will not dry up for pot growers. We are told watch the water hmmm I think we will find it is being diverted underground and out to sea. Awakening will be painful Take a look at North Dakota and all the Barley farms wiped out due to grasshoppers. 🐸🐸🐸

    2. Why does CA continue to cry about a water shortage for farms and crops when the whole state was a desert to begin with? It makes no sense. Grow crops in places where water is natural and abundant outside of CA.

    3. When all the American farmers are bankrupt and gone, China can buy up their farm ground dirt cheap, bring in Chinese farmers, start the water flowing, grow crops, feed who they chose and rape what is left of the American people or starve the rest to death.

    4. its all bull shit plain and simple they have no rights to deny anyone the right for water usage.. its time to sue the hell out of them for violation of rights treason and sedition.. sue those bastards

    5. Exactly, there seems to be no problem with the California Aquaduct sending water to Southern California. Between this and the fires I see a huge land grab.

  1. I wonder if the governor’s FatJack Winery is included with the 5700.

    Sorry, ObeseJack. ChubbyJack. Whatever. That’s right: PlumpJack. Founded by Newsom and his business partner: The Getty Oil Family. It seems to me that FratBoy Winery would be a better name.

  2. “This drought is very real,” said Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross in a statement on Tuesday. “It is a painful moment. This year there’s plenty of pain to go around.

    Mother Nature and climate change have brought us the situation that we have. And therefore the decisions that you have to make have very real impacts on people. But not making these decisions would have even more horrendous impacts for people.”

    So Karen – how much Chinese reminbi are YOU receiving for this effort to bankrupt the American farmers???

    Now the farmer’s perspective :
    “They took away my livelihood just like that,” explained Central Valley farmer Raul Martinez to the Globe on Wednesday. “I was part of an earlier cut, and now, looking out over my fields right now with everything dried up, I can’t explain my anger to the state.”

    “They flushed so much water out to help [endangered] fish that they forgot to think about the people affected. And if they don’t care about us, then about the environmental impact of all these dead farms. And if they don’t care about that, then about the food impact, which could lead to shortages of some things. And if they don’t care about that, then look at all the lost money the state and county now has to deal with from lost taxes on these crops. I don’t think they realized all these consequences. You drive out here, and you know exactly where the cut off happened, because everything looks alive until it is suddenly dead.”

    “It’s hard to explain to my kids what happened, but the story that stuck was where I compared the state water people to Thanos from The Avengers movies. They decided that hurting a lot of people was needed, so they ‘snapped’ their power on all the farmers and got rid of a lot of us. They immediately got that then.”

    Here’s your backstory :
    https://www.gopusa.com/china-is-buying-up-american-farms-washington-wants-to-crack-down/

    and

    https://www.voanews.com/usa/lawmakers-seek-curb-chinese-ownership-us-farmland

    “According to Chinese investment statistics, overseas ventures in agriculture, forestry, and fisheries soared from $300 million in 2009 to $3.3 billion in 2016,” said a 2018 USDA report, which found the focus of investments was shifting from farming and raw materials to agribusiness acquisitions.

    The study noted that the Chinese Communist Party has identified investment in foreign agriculture as a component of the Belt and Road Initiative, its massive global infrastructure development plan.

    But Gale told VOA Mandarin that most Chinese land purchases are concentrated in nations where it is easy and cheap to acquire farmland or other resources such as timber or grazing land, while acquiring land in the United States is often expensive and complicated.”

    (Not in California where they have inroads with the Democrats in charge of the state… conspiracy theory???)

  3. All part of the deep states plan for depopulation (famine). More money in the globalists pockets though, right?!!!!

  4. Between Gates and China buying farmlands….famine is near for us all part of the control and obey

  5. People better be waking up and fast so we can tip this over the edge sooner. Watch the water is what is said and while you are at it, find the lawsuit article with the Canadian who took the Canadian Health authorities to court to prove that covid was legitimate. They could not show proof! We knew this was an outright scam and now we have proof. Cannot share the link here but you can find it for yourself

  6. …GOT to keep all of those elitist swimming pools filled for the sex parties with little boys and girls. Maybe if someone crapped up the water pipes for those water board members – see how they like living WITHOUT WATER…

  7. If HAARP can make it snow in TX, they can make it rain in CA. We are being played and yes, a controlled famine is on the way thanks to the commies in charge. They hate this country, its people and its success. We must start standing up against this tyranny just as other nations are doing. Right now, it appears that Americans have no spine. We look weak.

  8. they are corporations with no rights what so ever sue them in their personal capacity it s time to set the record straight.

  9. You are damn liars!! You chemtrail the crap out if this state and then you expect us to believe you about a water shoirtage!!! THIS IS ALL GOVERNOR NEWSCUM’S FAULT, 100%!!! I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL HIS ASS IS RECALLED!!!!

  10. Until America wakes up to the fact that there was a coup and we are under enemy control things will only get worse. Look at the border, corporations in lockstep, other countries going through the exact same things. Coincidence??? Wake up America!

  11. See California food supply to US…
    California has one of the best climates for agriculture..
    If more people understood who is really behind this.. See Who owns water and power companies
    (Rothschilds) etc.. So understand that by stealing the water.. This does not just infect and yes I meant infect..Californians but a Nation..

  12. CA and adjacent states should have encouraged the construction of desalination plants with pipelines laid to allow fresh water to be pumped to Lake Mead and other reservoirs.

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