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California water board set to decide on new restrictions

Posted at 8:01 AM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-03 11:01:13-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — California's water board is set to decide on new restrictions Tuesday.

The five-person panel could reduce the water supply for thousands of Central Valley farmers.

The California Farm Bureau Federation says growers and ranchers will be hardest hit.

If passed, the emergency regulations would restrict water being pumped out of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers and their tributaries.

"It could mean we're importing tomatoes when we would be growing them here," said Chris Scheuring, from the California Farm Bureau Federation. "It could mean a reduced availability or a greater price. All those sort of ripple effects are sort of hard to predict."

Many farmers expected these cuts would eventually come but now there's growing concern about another dry winter.

If the board votes on a new order it will take effect in about two weeks.

Some farmers are switching to groundwater to help replace the dwindling river supply.

Those who can't could see their fields dry up.

Ultimately consumers will feel the pinch at the grocery store.

And as we face drought conditions, the city is asking Bakersfield residents to voluntarily cut back on water use by 15%.

That reduction can be reached by watering your lawn once a week.

You can also reduce water times by one or two minutes.

And check your sprinkler system once a month to make sure there are no leaks or broken heads.