California Judge Rejects Challenge to Farmers’ Water Cuts

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A California judge has rejected a challenge to agricultural water cuts sought by regulators during the drought.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne Chang declined to block regulators from enforcing allegations of illegal water diversions for crops.

Chang previously ruled the that the state’s initial notices of water supplies running too low to meet demand violated farmers’ rights. The state sent thousands of new letters removing mandatory-sounding language, but attorneys for irrigation districts serving farmers in the Central Valley said they were still illegal.

The judge’s ruling filed Monday says the state’s new approach is acceptable.

Attorneys for the irrigation districts challenging the cuts did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

The case is one of several challenging the state’s authority to restrict farmers’ access to water from rivers and streams.

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