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Farmers’ Water Challenge Rejected

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Sacramento, CA — A California judge will allow the state to enforce alleged water diversion violations against Central Valley farmers.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne Chang rejected farmers’ appeal to agricultural water cuts sought by regulators during the drought. As previously reported, Chang ruled that the state’s original notices of water supplies running too low to meet demand violated farmers’ rights. In reaction to the ruling, the state sent thousands of new letters removing the mandatory-sounding language, but attorneys for irrigation districts serving Delta farmers still called the notices illegal.

This ruling finds the state’s new approach is acceptable. The same judge earlier found that the state’s initial notices violated farmers’ rights to water. The case is one of several challenging the state’s authority to restrict farmers’ access to water from rivers and streams.