The Water Wars Have Begun: California Town Loses 50 Million Gallons Of Water

Coburn Palmer

As the California Megadrought enters its fourth year and the state continues on its way to something out of a Mad Max future, one California town may be the first victim of future water wars.

The city of Fremont, in the San Francisco Bay Area, lost 50 million gallons of water, enough to supply 500 families for a year, after one its dams was destroyed this week.

Police say vandals damaged an inflatable rubber dam, causing the water to flow down the Alameda Creek to the bay where it was lost to the ocean.

The dam is made of tough one-inch plastic and is inflatable to compensate for the changing level of water in the creek.

The dam was used to capture water and divert it to Quarry Lakes Regional Park at which point it percolates into the ground and becomes groundwater, Alameda Water District Manager Robert Shaver told the San Francisco Chronicle.

"This was a malicious intent. It was an incredibly senseless, wasteful, destructive act."

The attack on the dam comes at a point when the city is struggling to meet Gov. Jerry Brown's order for California cities to reduce their water consumption.

The State Water Board has ordered Fremont to reduce its water consumption by 16 percent, but other California towns have been given a 36 percent reduction target.

It's a tiered system in which some California cities have to cut back much more than others.

That hasn't made some California towns happy, and the State Water Board has received complaints from more than 200 interest groups, according to the Inquisitr.

Police said they're not sure if the attack was motivated by terrorism or vandalism yet, but area residents say more needs to be done to protect their vital infrastructure.

Recently, the area has seen its fiber cables cut and AT&T U-verse cut, one resident told NBC Bay Area.

"It's shocking that someone would do this, given our current situation. Our drought is so severe. I don't understand why anyone would do that."

The dam was inside a secure area with posted no trespassing signs, but apparently that didn't save it from destruction.

Hopefully, this was the last wanton waste of needed drinking water as the state is trying to take measures to avoid Australia's fate during its drought.

That country was forced to assign citizens a specific amount of water available to them per day, according to Gizmodo.

[Photo by Paula Bronstein/Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]