Wednesday, September 23, 2020


Home News State Water Board Approves Emergency Regulation to Assure Compliance with Water Rights...

State Water Board Approves Emergency Regulation to Assure Compliance with Water Rights Curtailment Orders

In response to the ongoing severe drought, the State Water Resources Control Board Wednesday approved an emergency regulation to assure compliance with curtailment orders issued to protect senior water rights throughout the state.

The new regulation will require junior water right holders to immediately stop taking water upon receipt of a curtailment order reflecting the fact that water is not available under that diverter’s priority of right, so that water remains for those with more senior water rights.

This emergency regulatory package allows the State Water Board to act quickly, while preserving the right of appeal by water rights holders who are ordered to curtail. Water rights holders who fail to comply with the regulations face immediate fines or administrative actions.

“This emergency regulation provides certainty to our existing water rights system, and allows the Board to move quickly to assure that the senior water rights holders have the water they need as this very dry summer progresses,” said State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus.

As the demand for water exceeds the available supply in this third year of drought, junior water rights holders are being ordered to curtail, or stop, their diversions from the state’s rivers and tributaries so that the water reaches those who are entitled to it, in accordance with State law.

The new regulation was developed following passage of legislation signed by Governor Brown that expanded regulatory and enforcement powers during the drought emergency.

The State Water Board has issued more than 7,910 curtailment notices so far this year, but just over 31 percent have responded that they are in compliance. The regulatory action makes clear how important it is to immediately comply with an order to curtail. Delays in compliance with the curtailment notices could cause additional curtailments that would have been unnecessary otherwise, thereby further harming those entitled to the water under the law.

The curtailment of water diversions follows the “first in time, first in right” water right system in California. Junior water rights holders are generally those with water rights granted after 1914, when the current water right system was put in place. Senior water rights holders are generally those whose water rights existed before 1914, and those whose property abuts a water course.

Many water right holders have a mix of water rights as well as a mix of sources for water, such as contract water, surface water rights, groundwater and in some cases recycled water.

Junior water rights holders are told to stop taking water (curtailment notice) in a drought to assure that the rights of more senior water right holders are protected. In a severe drought, curtailments may even be necessary for more senior water rights holders.

Rather than a curtailment notice, the regulation allows the Board to issue an enforceable curtailment order to limit or stop diversions and require reports to assure compliance.

The regulation supports local cooperative agreements among water rights holders in a watershed to share available water and avoid curtailment. Such agreements must not result in injury to other water right holders or cause unreasonable harm to fish and wildlife.

In taking this action, the Board also directed its staff to work with stakeholders to improve the information that is relied on to make decisions on water right priority and water availability and to assess the effectiveness of its drought response efforts in preparation for a possible dry 2015.

The regulation will likely go into effect on or about July 14, following submittal to the Office of Administrative Law.

Lloyd Green Jr, Editor
Lloyd Green Jr, Editor
Lloyd Green Jr. is the Owner and Publisher of the Williams Pioneer Review. He is dedicated in publishing the news and informing the community of Colusa County. Lloyd has been with the publication since 2008, and purchased the business in 2010. Under his ownership the newspaper has grown significantly in subscriptions, publishes weekly, and obtained the title of Newspaper of General Circulation by the Superior Court of Colusa County in Sept. 2017. Lloyd is also the director of advertising, classified manager, legal notice clerk, and circulation manager. To contact Lloyd, email him at or call (530) 458-4141 ext. 100.

More News

Three killed on I-5 in two separate accidents 

Three people were killed on Interstate 5 in Colusa County over a five day period in two separate accidents.  A Yuba City couple were killed...

Coaches Corner: Dan Kiely

Soccer in Colusa County has a long history of competitive play and a major contributor to that tradition is Colusa High School boys’ soccer...

Garden Club Plant Sale

The Garden Club of Colusa County hosted their fall plant sale in the Davison Pavilion in Colusa on Saturday, Sept. 8. The event, which...

First Patriot Day ceremony held at Williams Elementary School

Students who attend Williams Elementary School were not alive 19 years ago when hijackers used airplanes as weapons of destruction to kill nearly 3,000...

Distance learning raises questions about home imagery

Editors Note: The article has been updated from the print version to correct the spelling of Tiffany Sines. Distance learning seems to be more challenging...

Local Government

County appoints new Airport Advisory Committee

The Colusa County Board of Supervisors on Sept. 1 appointed seven members to the newly restructured Airport Advisory Committee. The previous committee of about 15...

Colusa Police Department: July 2020

The City of Colusa Police Department responded to 382 calls for service, up from 311 in June. There were an additional 31 calls to...

City of Colusa adopts strategy for economic development

The Colusa City Council last week adopted the final Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, a report that will serve as a roadmap intended to diversify...

Public & Legal Notices

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE NO. 2020-0000072 Date filed: September 11, 2020 The following persons are doing business as: GULLATT RANCH Business Address: 6880 GREENBAY ROAD, ARBUCKLE, CA 95912 Mailing...

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE NO. 2020-0000071 Date filed: September 1, 2020 The following persons are doing business as: C & C ENGINEERING Business Address: 2081 LONE STAR ROAD,...

Notice of Lien Sale

NOTICE OF LIEN SALE SEPTEMBER 20, 2020 AT 5:00 PM 423 SIOC STREET, COLUSA, CA 95932 8’  3’ GOLD WING 09/16/2020 • WPR #2020-1142


CIUDAD DE COLUSA AVISO DE AUDIENCIA PÚBLICA AVISO SE DA A LA PRESENTE QUE la Comisión de Ciudad de Colusa y  Planificación llevará a cabo un...


CITY OF COLUSA NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the City of Colusa and Planning Commission will hold public workshop on Wednesday, September...