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California Cuts Water to More Farmers as Drought Escalates

Dried mud and the remnants of a marina is seen at the New Melones Lake reservoir which is now at less than 20 percent capacity as a severe drought continues to affect California on May 24, 2015.

Dried mud and the remnants of a marina is seen at the New Melones Lake reservoir which is now at less than 20 percent capacity as a severe drought continues to affect California on May 24, 2015.

MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

California farmers who’ve held rights to siphon water from two key rivers in the state’s Central Valley for more than 100 years have been ordered to cut back as one of the most severe droughts in state history intensifies.

About 100 senior water rights holders with claims dating back to 1903 will have to stop pumping from the San Joaquin and Sacramento watersheds and surrounding delta to ensure those with even older rights have enough, the State Water Resources Control Board said Friday in a news release.