California regulators have accepted a historic offer by farmers to make a 25 percent voluntary water cut to avoid deeper mandatory losses during the drought.
Officials with the state Water Resources Control Board made the announcement on Friday involving farmers in the delta of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers who hold some of California’s strongest water rights.
The several hundred farmers made the offer after state officials warned they were days away from ordering some of the first cuts in more than 30 years to the senior water rights holders.
California water law is built around preserving the water claims of those rights holders. The threat of state cuts is a sign of the worsening impacts of the four-year drought.
The state already has mandated 25 percent conservation by cities and towns and curtailed water deliveries to many farmers and communities.