Senior Water Rights Holders Told to Stop Pumping

Farmers with some of the state’s oldest water rights are being told to stop pumping from rivers and streams in the valley for the first time since 1977.

George Kostyrko is a State Water Resources Control Board spokesman and says 114 people were mailed curtailment notices Friday.

“These senior water rights holders – they’re on the top-end of that priority curve,” he said. “So, these are senior water rights holders from 1914 to 1903.”

Kostyrko says additional curtailments will likely be announced this summer. The shutoffs should save around 1.2 million acre feet of water.

– Anthony Pollreisz