[BAY FEATURE]Bay Area Drought Watch

BAY FEATURE

Coverage of California's looming water problem

South Bay Farmers, Businesses Get Reprieve from Water Cut Off

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    NEWSLETTERS

    South Bay farmers and businesses on Tuesday were given an extension from their surface water being cut off.

    The Santa Clara Valley Water District has extended its deadline to cut off water to some South Bay farmers and commercial businesses.

    Tuesday originally was the district's deadline for shutting down service to farmers and other surface water users in Santa Clara County. Water officials said there will be no more extensions because drinking water is now at stake.

    The water district said it will keep trying to help surface water users find options, but emphasize in order to ensure the valley's drinking water supply there will be no more extensions to the cutoff date.

    "We need to encourage everyone to get to ground water," said Joan Maher, the district's water supply manager.

    Andy Mariani is cranking up the surface water he gets from the Santa Clara Valley Water District. Mariani is one of about 70 farmers and other commercial users who were told in March they would be losing their supply.

    "We're on this slope where there's not much in the way of groundwater available," Mariani said.

    Mariani also said he's fortunate a neighboring farmer planted crops this year that will not require watering this summer, which will give him access to area wells.

    About 70 surface water users plan to meet with the district after water is cut off to see if a compromise can be reached.