Raindrops appear on a windshield following the first rain of the year, early Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, in Novato, Calif. Northern California is finally getting rain after some areas have gone without measurable moisture for weeks. But the precipitation won’t help much to ease the drought that has plagued the region. (AP Photo/Marin Independent Journal, Robert Tong)
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Amid severe drought conditions, California officials announced Friday they won’t send any water from the state’s vast reservoir system to local agencies beginning this spring, an unprecedented move that affects drinking water supplies for 25 million people and irrigation for 1 million acres of farmland.
The announcement marks the first time in the 54-year history of the State Water Project that such an action has been taken, but it does not mean that every farm field will turn to dust and every city tap will run dry.
The 29 agencies that draw from the state’s water-delivery system have other sources, although those also have been hard-hit by the drought.
Many farmers in California’s Central Valley, one of the most productive agricultural regions in the country, also draw water from a separate system of federally run reservoirs and canals, but that system also will deliver just a fraction of its normal water allotment this year.
The announcement affects water deliveries planned to begin this spring, and the allotment could increase if weather patterns change and send more storms into the state.
Nevertheless, Friday’s announcement puts an exclamation Login to read more