California Water News Daily reports that the State’s Water Resources Control Board sent notices of water unavailability to about 4,300 junior right holders in the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta in mid-June. The limited water supply goes to senior right holders with claims pre-dating 1914, but the drought could also impact the ability of approximately 2,300 senior right holders to divert surface water later this summer.
The news site also reports that similar warnings were sent over the past several weeks to 102 water rights holders on the Scott River basin in Siskiyou County and 930 water rights holders in the upper Russian River basin. Then last week. state regulators adopted emergency regulations that could restrict diversions for 2,400 water right holders in the Upper and Lower Russian River as early as July 5.
Parties who ignore the notices will receive cease and desist orders and can be fined up to $1,000 a day and $2,500 per acre-foot illegally diverted.
The restrictions are due to the ongoing drought, causing a higher demand for water than existing supply.