California Cuts Water to Agriculture

Posted on June 16, 2015

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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Yikes.

On Friday, California’s top water regulators issued new cutbacks on farmers holding senior water rights dating back more than 100 years.

The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) ordered the curtailment of all water diversions to farmers in the Delta, San Joaquin and Sacramento River watersheds holding senior water rights dating to 1903, according to a release from the agency. The order places new restrictions on 114 senior water rights holders in total, including the cities of Chico, Placer, Paradise, and Patterson.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Water Resources (DWR), and several other municipal water districts are also affected.

The new cutbacks come as California grapples through the fourth year of a record drought. In April, Gov. Jerry Brown issued mandatory restrictions on urban water use, but the governor and top water officials faced criticism for exempting agriculture from the plan.

The restrictions are the first placed on senior water rights…

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