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Jones Valley residents accusing pot growers of stealing their water

By Mike Mangas
Published On: Aug 13 2013 08:09:08 PM CDT
JONES VALLEY, Calif. -

People who live in the Elk Trail neighborhood in the Jones Valley Area will say that they have fought for years to get a reliable water system, a system that has just been put in.

Now, however, the system has brought a new problem.

Residents said that before the last pipe of the water system was connected, marijuana growers started moving in. Many residents say the growers have been stealing water from the new system.

They say that growers are hooking up to fire hydrants and watering their plants for free while the rest of the service area's residents must pay for the water they use.

The county, in trying to prevent the water theft, has begun installing anti-theft devices on some of the hydrants.

At a Shasta County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday morning, several people brought their complaints saying that the growers were lazy and making it unsafe for children to go outside and play.

A grower at the meeting who did not want to be named said he has been following the law and is being unfairly targeted by his neighbors.

Sheriff Tom Bosenko said that County Resource Management, the building department and code enforcement have several cases against growers who are believed to be out of compliance with the county ordinance. However, Sheriff Bosenko said that his department is overwhelmed by pot complaints, making the stolen water problem less of a priority.

Bosenko also said that the major pot growers are moving out of the mountains and into the valleys. We will have more information on that later this week.