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OPINION: ‘Water Rights’ a Drowning Legal Issue in Anza and Aguanga

The current concern over citizen’s water rights by residential and commercial developers in the Anza Aguanga Valley that is hindering the areas sought after economic growth stems back almost 75 years in the history of the Santa Margarita Watershed. In recent months the issue of citizen’s water rights, once again came to the forefront of the news after the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, July 12 meeting denied a request from the developer of Thomas Mountain Ranch to amend their specific plan to provide a community water system.


Changes in Irrigation Demand Behind Upper River Fluctuations

The Colorado River is a wonderful playground for Yuma County residents, out of state visitors and winter visitors. Unless your river activities take place strictly on the lower river below Imperial Dam, you may not realize that there is an ongoing daily change in the river water level above Imperial Dam. The reason for the fluctuations in the upper river is the change in irrigation demand from summer to winter crops. Generally, the highest flows, measured in cubic feet per second (CFS) take place in May, June and July. The lowest flows are in December and January.


OPINION: Share your Local Pride with WaterSmart Living (by Mark Muir)

The San Diego region stepped up to the challenge of unprecedented state water-use mandates over the last year by reducing water use 22 percent compared to 2013. That phenomenal effort allowed the region to store 100,000 acre-feet of water behind the newly raised San Vicente Dam for future use. Thank you to everyone who helped. State water-use targets have been lifted thanks to our regional investments in water supply reliability, but the work isn’t done. In fact, in late July, the San Diego County Water Authority launched its Live WaterSmart campaign to enhance our region’s role as a leader in water-use efficiency.


History of the Water Rights of People in the Santa Margarita Watershed

Before recorded history Native American tribes like the Cahuilla, Santa Rosa, Ramona and Pechanga hunted and fished along the 27-mile free-flowing river created by the rainfall and watershed coming off Anza’s Thomas Mountain. The river runs southwest through Anza, Aguanga, Temecula, portions of Murrieta and Wildomar into Fallbrook, from there to Camp Pendleton where its overflow empties into the Pacific Ocean. The runoff also feeds a huge underground water basin.