SACRAMENTO, California (KCRA) -- Operators of illegal marijuana grows are siphoning farmers' water supply and jeopardizing the safety of the state's water supply during the drought.
"They are stealing the water, taking it from farmers," said Kara Siepmann, a spokeswoman for the California National Guard.
Siepmann said the state's National Guard teamed up with the Department of Justice Tuesday to remove the irrigation tubing, trash and pesticides left behind after law enforcement moved in to arrest suspects and confiscate thousands of marijuana plants hidden on Sacramento-area farm land.
Dave Vierra is a West Sacramento grower who said he has found similar illegal grows on his property.
"They can do a lot of environmental damage," said Vierra.
Vierra and Siepmann said the marijuana growers are using powerful pesticides right next to open waterways with no regard for proper application.
"That run-off with the pesticides goes right into our waterways," said Siepmann.