Illegal Water Hauling During Drought to Cannabis Operations

A private Investigation firm retained by a resident of Sonoma County who belongs to SOSN, a coalition of neighborhood residents advocating common sense cultivation of commercial marijuana in Sonoma County, found that during this unprecedented drought, cannabis farmers are illegally trucking vast quantities of municipal water to their cultivation sites
California is facing the driest year in the last century, and County officials have told residents to reduce their water use by 20% this summer and avoid growing vegetables, avoiding washing vehicles, and taking fewer showers. The PI firm observed Cannabis growers have taken advantage of these sacrifices by illegally sourcing city water reserved for residents and instead irrigating their crops
All cities in Sonoma County forbid using water from hydrants for cannabis operations and the State of California specifically only allows Cannabis operators to receive water from pre-approved and registered sources. The California Water Board can shut down cultivators for unauthorized use of water. Sonoma County’s cannabis ordinance requires sufficient on-site water to cultivate on a sustainable basis. Any cultivation site that requires the use of trucked municipal water does not have a sustainable water source.
The PI report gathered evidence during a two-day stakeout at city fire hydrants which had unusually high activity of water tankers filling and returning repeatedly, as many as 7-8 times per day. This report provides abundant evidence and photographs of municipal water being hauled to cannabis grow on Purvine Road in the dairy belt. The operation on Purvine Rd requires 2 million gallons of water per harvest, an unsustainable quantity there due to the low availability of groundwater in that area.
The PI report also provides abundant evidence and photographs of municipal water being hauled to several locations that collectively have 19 cultivation permits from Sonoma County.
Allegedly, similar water violations have been reported elsewhere based on abundant eyewitness information. The permitting authorities in Sonoma County have declined to investigate or refer the matter to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office or the Sonoma County District Attorney’s office. Sonoma County officials seem eager for the tax revenue from cultivators and refuse to investigate reports of violations of law. They create excuses for violators or say there’s never enough evidence. They condemn the illegal use of water by operators without permits but ignore the violations if an operator has a permit and pays taxes to the county.
SOSN is a coalition of neighborhood residents advocating common sense cultivation of commercial marijuana in Sonoma County.
Learn more at www.sosneighborhoods.com/ and facebook.com/SaveOurSonomaNeighborhoods/
PRESS RELEASE
Contact: sanjay.bagai@gmail.com 510 599 5272
Source: Save Our Sonoma Neighborhoods