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Water Rights Curtailed in the Central Valley


Last updated 6/17/2015 at 2:06pm

Over one hundred irrigation districts and others with some of the oldest water rights in California are being told by California regulators to cease pumping from drought-diminished streams and rivers in the Central Valley. The curtailment order was issued on June 12 by the State Water Resources Control Board. According to the board, there isn’t enough water in the rivers to meet the demands of those with even the oldest rights that predate 1914. Here in the West, most rights to surface water are based on a system referred to as 'First in time, first in right.' Board officials are expected to issue more curtailments as flows continue to decline throughout summer. The state board’s executive director, Thomas Howard, said “Each water-right holder has different options available to them. Delta Watermaster Michael George said “There’s going to be lots of litigation coming out of this.”

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