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San Benito County Water Conservation Ramps Up

By Marissa Schwartz, Reporter, MarissaSchwartz@kionrightnow.com
Published On: Feb 19 2014 01:34:40 AM CST
HOLLISTER, Calif. -

The San Benito County Water District said it's worried about the amount of water it'll have this year, and in the future.  On Tuesday in a special meeting, board members considered declaring a emergency water shortage condition for this year. 

County supervisors also heard first hand what's at stake.

The agriculture industry's supply is dwindling because most of its water comes from the Central Valley Project, which is running very low.

If farmers produce less, it could have a big impact on the local economy.  The water district said 40 crops are grown in the area, bringing in almost $300 million for the county.

Supervisor Jamie De La Cruz said the county plans to educate the public to conserve by 20 percent, through fliers and local public access television.

At one point, the San Benito Water District was in jeopardy of loosing a large amount of water it had saved, when the federal government said it needed the supply.  But the feds ended up backing off that request.

Getting people to conserve isn't always easy.  Right now people in the Hollister/San Juan Bautista area use about 161 gallons a day.  The water district wants to reduce that to 129 gallons a day by 2020.