State issues first action to enforce a water rights curtailment

State regulators Thursday took another step in the escalating battle over drought-related curtailments of thousands of California water rights. The State Water Resources Control Board issued a draft cease-and-desist order against the West Side Irrigation District of Tracy, which holds junior rights to some flows in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The board alleges that inspectors found the district was continuing to withdraw water from the delta’s Old River even after it received a May 1 notice that there weren’t sufficient flows to meet the demand of junior rights holders in the delta. It is the first such enforcement action the board has taken this year. If West Side doesn’t comply or request a hearing on the matter, the state board could adopt the order, subjecting the district to fines of up to $10,000 a day.<more>

July 16, 2015 LA Times