(AP) — Officials say a group of Northern California farmers has exceeded a voluntary target set for conserving water during historic drought.
State water regulators reported Friday that farmers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta last summer used 32 percent less water. That beats a 25 percent goal set by farmers who till land in the Delta east of San Francisco.
The Delta farmers approached the state with the voluntary cuts, as California endured a fourth year of historic drought. In exchange, water regulators agreed not to enforce potentially deeper cuts.
The 217 farmers who agreed to the deal have the oldest water rights in the state and most security access to California's rivers.
Delta Watermaster Michael George says the farmers helped ease pressure on California's water supplies at a critical time.