September 24 2021 03:30 pm

Ordered Delta curtailments to affect water usage for farmers, cities


(KTXL) – Thousands of California farmers and other water rights holders, including cities like Sacramento, are facing a curtailment order issued by the State Water Resources Control Board.

Friday’s decision will affect 4,500 water rights holders who divert water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed.

California is on track to face the second driest two-year period on record and Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a drought emergency for nearly every county in the state.

As a result, the Water Resources Control Board decided earlier this month to adopt emergency regulations to protect the state’s drinking and irrigation supplies heading into next year.

Division of Water Rights Deputy Director Erik Ekdahl said water rights holders affected by the curtailments will be offered reporting and technical help, including at a webinar on Aug. 31. They will also undergo inspections.

“Dry conditions in the Delta worsened this spring when climate change-induced warm temperatures led to unprecedented losses of runoff to rivers, streams and reservoirs, and prompted water diverters below the reservoirs to withdraw their water earlier and in greater volumes than in previous critically dry years. This confluence of events resulted in the loss of nearly 800,000 acre-feet of water, enough to supply more than one million households for a year and nearly the entire capacity of Folsom Reservoir,” the board’s release said.

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