Water contractors sue federal government for $350 million
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Seventeen California water districts have filed a lawsuit for $350 million against the federal government for not delivering water to contractors in the drought year of 2014.
The districts in the San Joaquin Valley and the city of Fresno filed the suit Wednesday in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C.
Attorney Craig Parton, who is representing the contractors, says the claim seeks to recover the fair market value of Friant Division water not delivered to the contractors even though there were sufficient supplies in Millerton Lake that year.
The lawsuit says farmers lost crops due to lack of water and had to remove orchards, deplete groundwater supplies and take emergency measures.
Attempts to reach the Bureau of Reclamation, which controls Millerton Lake and Friant Dam, were unsuccessful.