Water board proposes historic $1.5M fine for taking water

Jul 20, 2015 3:13 PM by News Staff

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The California water board has proposed the first-of-its-kind, $1.5 million fine for water-taking during the drought.

The move announced Monday targets a group of Central Valley farmers.

State Water Resources Control Board Andrew Tauriainen says "this is the first case of its kind to go before the board,"

The so-called senior water rights holders are generally protected from mandatory cutbacks.

The board says the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District illegally took water from a pumping plant after getting a warning that there was not enough water.

The district serves farmers in three counties in the agriculture-rich Central Valley and a residential community of 12,000 people.

District spokeswoman Erin Gilhuly did not have an immediate comment. The district has sued the state over water cuts.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Most Popular