Berry Grower Hit with Fine for Water Use

Berry Grower Hit with Fine for Water Use

A raspberry and blueberry grower in Whatcom County, WA, has been fined $102,000 by the Washington State Department of Ecology, reports The Bellingham Herald.

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The grower, Gurjant Sandhu, was fined $90,000 for illegal irrigation of 220 acres of raspberries. Sandhu was also fined $12,000 for not submitting water use records on a 120-acre blueberry farm.

The Washington State Department of Ecology says Sandhu irrigated his raspberry farm for two years without approved water rights on the land. The Department of Ecology says an attempt was made to bring the farm into compliance, but the grower declined.

The department also says Sandhu is required to supply water use data due to a prior enforcement order of his water rights. The department says Sandhu submitted inaccurate and unreliable calculations of water use.