Clear Creek Water District battling water thieves

Apr 15, 2014 7:30 PM

The lack of rain has trickled down to a big problem in the North State -- illegal use of city water -- specifically for the Clear Creek Water District in Happy Valley.

"Everybody knows there's a water crisis in California."

But there's a new battle for the Clear Creek Water District -- its water thieves.

Born says his district supplies water from Whiskeytown Lake to about 7,000 people in the Happy Valley Community.

"The district has about 200 fire hydrants; we've identified about 3 that were victims of theft."

The district says marijuana growers are making matters worse, and adding to the major water shortage it's facing.

I ran into what may be possible illegal activity today; first in Happy Valley, and then in Igo -- someone posting an ad for private water delivery service -- from their semi.

"They take it from the hydrants that are the furthest reach...the ones that protect the wild land areas...and they typically do it under the cover of darkness."

To combat the method water thieves are using, the district is planning to install locks like this one on fire hydrants in remote areas.

"They are operated with a special tool so that fire departments can have access to them..."

One lock will be placed on a fire hydrant at the pump station on Clear Creek and Cloverdale Roads; the other lock will also be placed on Clear Creek Road, near Igo.

Born says the district is holding a meeting tomorrow night to discuss their next move.

"We plan to have the locks in place over the next week or two."

"It's gonna be a tough year...a really tough year."

The Bureau of Reclamation has given the Clear Creek Water District 1,079 acre feet of water for this year -- in a normal water year, the district receives 15,300 acre feet.

The district has now mandated a 50% water cutback to the residents it serves.


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