How Bad Is the Drought? Water Thieves

     GUALALA, Calif. (CN) – California’s drought is so bad that someone stole 3,000 gallons of water from an elderly woman over the weekend, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reported.
     Kathrine Dimaio, 87, called the Sheriff’s Department to report the theft of 3,000 gallons, valued at about $1,000, from a storage tank on her fenced property, the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
     “The tank was full the night before, and found empty the next morning,”
     Lt. Greg Stefani told Courthouse News in an email.
     Steffani said it was the first reported water theft in Mendocino County this year.
     But the Sonoma County Farm Bureau website calls water theft an area of grave concern. Sonoma County Sheriff’s Officer John Blenker told the Farm Bureau: “I have spoken with many ranchers experiencing theft of water from their springs and wells and wondering how to stop this loss.”
     Water is often diverted to illegal marijuana gardens, Blenker said.

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