California water regulators announced Friday that some senior water right holders in the Delta, Sacramento and San Joaquin River watersheds will no longer be able to divert water from rivers and streams.
The action affects 114 water right holders, including farmers, irrigation districts, state agencies and communities. Tom Howard with the State Water Resources Control Board says some right holders will have no alternative supply and may have to fallow crops.
"There are others that have stored water, there are some that have wells that they can fall back on, and maybe enough well capacity to meet all their needs or only a part of their needs," says Howard. "So it’s going to be a different story for each one of them and a struggle for all of them."
It’s the first time in nearly 40 years that regulators have ordered curtailments for those with rights dating back before 1914. Also Friday, President Obama pledged to provide California $18 million dollars in federal aid to deal with the drought.