Californians with century-old water rights face restrictions

Apr 3, 2015 7:14 PM by News Staff

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Thousands of Californians who have been shielded from water reductions because of century-old claims could face new restrictions.

The State Water Resources Control Board said Friday that it is warning farm owners and residents with water rights that they will likely face restrictions on water diversions for irrigation and other purposes.

California's antiquated water rights system prioritizes water for those who made claims before 1914. The board says even those senior water rights holders may have to cut back for the first time in the four-year drought.

The board's warning comes days after Gov. Jerry Brown ordered sweeping measures to curtail urban water use.

Brown exempted agriculture from his order, noting that many farmers lost access to state and federal reservoir water. Senior water rights holders were protected.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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