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The federal government said Friday it won’t send any of its reservoir water to the Central Valley for the second straight year, forcing farmers in California’s agricultural heartland to again scramble for other sources or leave fields unplanted.
Many farmers had been bracing for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s announcement as California’s drought enters its fourth year. Some farms are exempt from complete cuts under California’s antiquated water rights system dating to Gold Rush-era days.
But many farmers are running out of short-term options to deal with water shortages, such as uprooting orchards and tapping groundwater wells.