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California Regulators Drop Cases Against Water Diverters In Drought

Amy Quinton / Capital Public Radio
 

Amy Quinton / Capital Public Radio

The State Water Resources Control Board will not take action against two water districts accused of illegally diverting water in a drought.

The board dismissed a case that would have fined the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District $1.5 billion. The irrigation district near Tracy holds some of the oldest, most senior water rights. Byron Bethany was accused of illegally diverting water from a pumping plant after the board announced water cuts to those right-holders last year.

State regulators also dismissed its cease and desist order against the West Side Irrigation District in Tracy for allegedly pumping water out of Old River. In both cases, the state water board concluded that there wasn’t enough evidence to show that there was an insufficient water supply.