Sacramento, CA — A judge’s ruling could put all state-ordered cutbacks in jeopardy, according to farmers’ attorneys, who challenged the state water regulators.
On Friday, farmers who ignored recent water curtailment orders got a reprieve from a Sacramento judge, which has blocked California water regulators from punishing them. The judge cited that the State Water Resources Control Board ordered the cutbacks without first giving the farmers a hearing. The ruling impacts an irrigation district serving several dozen farmers in the Central Valley.
Over the past several months, the state board has ordered water rights holders to stop diverting water from rivers and streams. Farmers’ attorneys claim the court’s ruling throws all cutbacks into question, but the water board is countering that the ruling still allows it to punish those who illegally take water.
In another water savings move, forced by the lingering drought, California State Parks have ordered all beaches and parks to turn off outdoor shower stations by July 15.