by Katy Grimes, Senior Media Fellow and California Globe Editor
As appearing in the California Globe

California’s Water Law: 55 gallons per person per day despite 200 percent snowpack

California is abundant in natural resources: water, oil and natural gas, seafood, timber and minerals. Yet, the state has imposed water rationing on the state’s residents of 55 gallons per person, per day by 2020, is trying to pass legislation to prevent the petroleum industry from expanding, and has tried to outlaw fracking for natural gas. The once-thriving timber industry was successfully killed already, fishing and minerals are heavily regulated.

The winter of 2019 brought 200 percent of average rains and snow pack. Yet the state is still holding back on water to farmers, and residents will be rationed starting next year.

“South-of-Delta agricultural water service contractors’ allocations are increased to 70% of their contract total. South-of-Delta allocations for municipal and industrial contractors’ allocations are increased to 95% of their historic use,” the Bureau of Reclamation reported Wednesday.

“It is difficult to comprehend why the allocation remains below 100 percent,” the Westlands Water District said in a statement responding to the updated allocation, citing continued wet hydrologic conditions and above average Central Valley Project reservoir storage, the SV Sun reported. Westlands is the largest agricultural water district in the United States and provides water to 700 family-owned farms. It is comprised of more than 1,000 square miles of farmland in western Fresno and Kings Counties.

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