US & Canada

California orders historic water cuts for farmers

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Media captionThis is the first time in decades that farmers have been ordered to cut back on water usage, as Peter Bowes reports

California lawmakers have ordered farmers to reduce their water consumption - the largest cuts in the US state's history.

State officials announced on Friday they would be telling nearly 100 water rights holders to stop pumping from three separate waterways.

This is the first time in decades that officials have forced thousands of farmers to draw back water use.

These farmers' rights to water were decided more than 100 years ago.

Water rights holders in the Sacramento, San Joaquin and delta watersheds will have to stop getting water from those streams.

California has ordered water use cuts for other farmers in other cities across the state.

The move has been expected for weeks, the Los Angeles Times reports. It effects will be varied, with a lot of water harvesting work continuing on as usual.

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