by Guy Kovner
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
August 12, 2015
Environmentalists are mobilizing in protest of a would-be bill backed by the local wine industry that would create an irrigation district intended to protect the water rights of about 1,000 grape growers in the Russian River region.
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The move comes in fourth year of California’s historic drought, when competing claims for dwindling supplies and state moves to safeguard stream flows have set some rural landowners under mandatory cutbacks against grape growers who have so far faced no such restrictions.
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The proposed bill surfaced with rural residents smarting after the state last month imposed rules to reduce outdoor water use by landowners in four coho salmon breeding watersheds while placing no restrictions on vineyards. Some rural residents blame vineyard expansion — along with the drought — for diminished stream flows that have jeopardize salmon survival this summer.
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Read the complete article on the Press Democrat website:
Activists see Sonoma County winegrowers’ proposed bill as a ‘water grab’
See also Will Parrish’s related article on the Anderson Valley Advertiser website:
Wine Industry Water Grab?