Thursday, June 17, 2021 - 11:00

Thousands of Central California farmers were warned Tuesday that they could face water cutoffs this summer as the state deals with a drought that already has curtailed federal and state irrigation supplies.

The State Water Resources Control Board notified about 6,600 farmers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed who have rights to use water from the Central Valley estuary of “impending water unavailability” that may continue until winter rains come.

“This is how dry things are,” water board Chairman Joaquin Esquivel told the Sacramento Bee. “The hydrology that we’re seeing is not there … There will not be enough natural flow.”

The state also must provide enough flow in the rivers to maintain populations of protected fish species in rivers while keeping “cities and communities from running out of water,” Esquivel said.

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