Protected water rights halted in California
Protected water rights halted in California

Richard and Danna Jones' cattle grazing pasture stayed green in the face of California's drought. This is as a result of water flowing from a gulch that was maintained by his grandfather in 1911.

On Friday, their nearly protected right to water was suspended by state regulators. They ordered them to stop using the water for their rural property east of Redding. Over 100 senior water rights holders are told for the first time in many years that major waterways in California's agriculture-rich Central Valley are not enough to meet demand.

Danna Jones said that the place will to look similar to hell. She and her husband earn money by letting cattle graze on their land and then only they are able to pay off property taxes. Danna added that it will dry up to become a star-thistle patch and this will lead to problem for them.

Two small irrigation districts serving farmers close to the San Joaquin River are also among those; next week, they are planning to go to court. According to their attorney Jeanne Zolezzi, the districts serve small family farms, relying on taking water from the San Joaquin River watershed in order to grow permanent crops like walnuts and apricots in addition to having little supplies in wells or reservoirs.

According to Zolezzi, "A lot of trees would die, and a lot of people would go out of business. We are not talking about a 25 percent cut like imposed on urban. This is a 100 percent cut: No water supplies".

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