Today’s (6-12-15) curtailment order by the State Water Resources Control Board to shut off water supplies to pre-1914 users with permits that began in 1903 or later was not completely unexpected. However, this order demonstrates the seriousness of the current drought gripping our state and the damage being felt by rural communities.
Today’s curtailment order comes on the heels of previous orders that halted users from diverting water from the watershed of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. This process of curtailment orders proves that the existing system of water rights in California is working.
…it is still troubling news for farmers in those areas that have invested years of time and money to grow the food sought by consumers.
While the latest curtailment order was not a complete surprise, it is still troubling news for farmers in those areas that have invested years of time and money to grow the food sought by consumers. Farmers will now be forced to shift their cropping patterns in order to stretch their reduced water supplies.
For some farmers this will likely mean an abandonment of crops already planted this year under the assumption that their water supplies were more secure.
California farmers provide half of the nation’s fresh fruits and vegetables and now that supply is in jeopardy. Hundreds of thousands of acres of permanent crops are being under-irrigated. As a result of the latest water cutback, consumers may feel the pinch with fewer choices this summer and possibly higher prices at the grocery store.