VALLEY DROUGHT 2014: Illegal Pot Growers Are Using Thousands of Gallons of Water
TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KMPH) —
Valley Drought 2014 has all of us making sacrifices to save water. However, officers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife say they busted a marijuana grow where the bad guys wasted thousands of gallons of water.
As officers hiked into the illegal marijuana grow on the Tule River Reservation, they found more than thirteen thousand pot plants.
"The Tule River Indian Reservation marijuana grow site is probably run by an international drug trafficking organization," says Mark Insdahl from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Officers say each plant needs 8 gallons to 10 gallons of water every day. With so many plants at the illegal grow, that means 100,000 gallons of water was wasted daily.
"They've taken every single drop out of this creek," adds Insdahl.
The Tule River Tribe relies on the water that was being stolen. Water from the river is 80% of its water source, so losing all this water during a drought does create problems.
Officers say the illegal marijuana grow didn't just hurt people, it also hurts animals. Investigators say the growers most likely killed animals that tried to get into the area.
In addition to destroying thousands of pot plants, officers also removed irrigation pipes, propane tanks, car batteries and garbage.