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Do Farmers and Water Districts Really Have Water Rights?

Beginning in June, California farmers and water districts with hundred-year-old water rights to creeks, rivers, ponds, and reservoirs received notice from the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) that their long-held rights to use water from public waterways are being nullified due to the drought. Even farmers with original riparian water rights dating back to the 1870s have been advised to obtain water from other sources. This action has created fear, anger and near panic. Farmers and water districts are protesting, hiring water lawyers, scrambling to find well drillers, and abandoning fields to meet the demands of the government. Meanwhile most urban areas, the intended end users of the water taken from farmers, are doing little or nothing to curtail their insatiable water demand. Under new rulings, environmental needs are now placed in higher priority than agriculture. This session will feature the chair of SWRCB, a director of the Nevada Irrigation District, and the Director of the Center for Watershed Sciences discussing and debating the issues surrounding the current water crisis and historical water rights.


Track and Session Info

E | 1:30 pm

Date and Location




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