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California Orders No Water Diversions Despite Legal Rights

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

In this photo taken Friday March 27, 2015, low-flow water emitter sits on some of the dry, cracked ground of farmer Rudy Mussi's almond orchard in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta near Stockton, Calif.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

(AP) - State regulators are ordering some farms to stop pumping from streams for the second year in a row.

The State Water Resources Control Board sent a letter Thursday to about 1,500 Central Valley farms and people ordering them to stop taking water for irrigation.

The board says there's not enough water in rivers and streams in the San Joaquin and Scott River watersheds to meet demand for irrigating crops and other uses.

Those affected can still pump groundwater or buy water from other sources.

The order doesn't affect agencies and people who made claims to the water before 1914. But the board warned that most or all of those water rights holders near the San Joaquin River will likely be ordered to stop pumping for the first time.