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File #: 21-514    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Action Item Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 6/3/2021 In control: BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
On agenda: 6/8/2021 Final action:
Title: 2:30 P.M. - Discussion on drought related issues: a) How to handle future ag projects b) How to handle water trucks c) How to deal with illegal cannabis
Sponsors: Bruno Sabatier
Attachments: 1. Siskiyou County Urgency Ordinance - Water Trucks




Date:                                          June 8, 2021                     


To:                                          The Honorable Bruno Sabatier, Chair, Lake County Board of Supervisors


From:                                          Bruno Sabatier, Chair and District 2 Supervisor


Subject:                     Discussion on drought related issues: a) How to handle future ag projects b) How to handle water trucks c) How to deal with illegal cannabis


Executive Summary: (include fiscal and staffing impact narrative):


a)                     Ag projects are important to the economy for jobs and tourist attraction.  However, ag projects all require a large amount of water to successfully grow crops to be sold in available markets.  During an extreme drought, such as the one we are in, we need to be mindful on how much water used is too much water used, but we do not have a mechanism to assist our staff and our planners to make these decisions.

Do we stop all ag projects that are not in process in Community Development?  Do we slow down the process for all ag projects that are not in process in Community Development?  Do we continue as is?

We need to discuss how to best protect a very valuable resource, water.  We want drinking water to continue to be accessible whether from the lake or a well.  We want our ag endeavors to continue to be successful whether grapes or cannabis.  We need to discuss how we move forward as these droughts will occur more often, and will become even longer.  What is our plan for the future?

I suggest that we seek to implement a waiver for all new applications for any ag project to waive the streamline permitting act so as to slow down the processing of these applications.  During that slowed down period, I suggest that we seek to create a water sustainability ordinance to ensure that all who have access to water continue to have access even if we add new activity.  I suggest that the Ag Advisory Committee take on the task to create such an ordinance and come back to us on how best to handle our water for the future to ensure we continue to have access to the water we need.

b)                     Water trucks are a problem during a drought.  Water trucks are not being handled appropriately by Yolo County Flood Control who permits them to draw water from our lake.  Their enforcement is almost non-existent.  Due to recent conversations, Yolo County Flood Control 2x2 meetings will start again so we can try our best to rectify this problem, but we are still dealing with a drought and we are still dealing with too many water trucks moving water around our lake, at times absolutely illegally.  We need a solution.  Let’s discuss solutions.

One solution is to ban water trucks on specifics roads.  Siskiyou County has passed such an ordinance, one that I’ve attached onto this agenda item.

Another solution is to have OES hand out emergency drought water permits to water trucks who have proven that they are a legitimate delivery business, have read and agreed to the rules and regulations as to where this water should legally come from and where it should legally go, and to provide us with monthly reports on how much water they have taken and from where.  Their license would be placed on the back of their trucks so that law enforcement can know who is allowed to move water and who is not.  Not showing a permit sticker on the back of water trucks would provide a reason to get pulled over and inspected.

Another solution is to implement meters and passwords to drawing water from wells or lake access, and more.  By collecting this data, we can better understand who is taking water and how much of it.  Our aquifers and our lake are a shared resource, regulating and enforcing appropriate use of our waters is paramount to protecting our water.

c)                     Illegal grows are an issue in Lake County, and our efforts, while commendable, are not nearly enough to make a dent.  Illegal grows are a huge problem for us during a drought.  If people don’t care to follow cannabis rules and regulations already in place, we should expect the same philosophy with water usage and protecting our water ways.  Going after water trucks would be a great start in hurting our illegal grows, but we need to do more.  We have a high definition satellite imagery capability.  We have a new administrative fines coming back to us to help strike against those who don’t follow our rules and create nuisance and blight in our communities.  We need to take action.  I want us to discuss how we can use this drought as an opportunity to truly strike against illegal grows once and for all.

I understand that we are understaffed and I understand that California laws create red tape for us to move forward, but what other solutions are available for us to make a difference in both the landscape of our communities and the impact to the drought.


If not budgeted, fill in the blanks below only:

Estimated Cost: ________ Amount Budgeted: ________ Additional Requested: ________ Future Annual Cost: ________ 


Consistency with Vision 2028 and/or Fiscal Crisis Management Plan (check all that apply):                                           Not applicable

Well-being of Residents                                           Public Safety                                                                Infrastructure                                           Technology Upgrades

Economic Development                                           Disaster Recovery                                           County Workforce                      Revenue Generation

Community Collaboration                      Business Process Efficiency                      Clear Lake                                           Cost Savings                                          

If request for exemption from competitive bid in accordance with County Code Chapter 2 Sec. 2-38, fill in blanks below:

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Recommended Action:


a)                     Discuss and direct staff, b) Discuss and direct staff, c) Discuss and direct staff