Speed Reads

fighting the drought

California announces sharp water cuts for agriculture

As the state of California faces a historic drought that has shown few signs of relenting, state officials announced Friday that nearly 300 farmers with water rights in the San Joaquin and Sacramento watersheds and delta will face sharp cutbacks, their first since 1977. Further curtailments will be announced weekly.

Governor Jerry Brown (D) has faced intense criticism after he issued mandatory regulations on urban water use but initially left agriculture, which uses about 80 percent of water consumed in the state, unregulated. Since then, Brown has also struck a deal with some farmers in the delta, in which they voluntarily cut their water consumption by 25 percent in exchange for a promise that they won't face more drastic cuts later.

Read more at The New York Times.