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Producers in California may get more water

Friday, March 19, 2010

Those who use farm equipment in parts of California may get more access to water.
Those who use farm equipment in parts of California may get more access to water.

A recent change in water allocations could help those who use farm equipment in California's Central Valley.

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced the changes for water allocations in that area because other parts of the state have had increased precipitation. However, the state has experienced three years of drought conditions, and some parts are still feeling the effects of that.

Producers north of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta area may be able to tap up to 50 percent of the maximum allowed under contract quantities. That's up from the previous allocation of 5 percent.

Agricultural operations south of the delta can get 25 percent of the maximum, which is up from the previous 5 percent allocation.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said that though the measures represent positive measures for water users in the Central Valley, the department recognizes that producers south of the delta have had problems tied to the three years of drought conditions.

"That's why we continue to work hard and make progress towards providing an additional 8 to 10 percent for agriculture south of the Delta," Salazar said.

While some parts of California are experiencing a tough time finding water, other areas in the country are dealing with conditions that could produce extended flooding this spring.

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