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California Briefing / SACRAMENTO

Water emergency affects 9 counties

June 13, 2008|Nancy Vogel

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday declared a drought emergency in nine Central Valley counties.

San Joaquin Valley farmers who had planted crops this spring in anticipation of getting 45% of their usual water supply from the federal network of dams and canals called the Central Valley Project learned recently that their supplies would be cut to 40%.

The further curtailment will force some farmers to abandon crops, said Lester Snow, director of the state Department of Water Resources.

Fresno County has estimated its drought crop losses at $73 million, he said.

An emergency declaration will help farmers get low-cost federal loans.

-- Nancy Vogel

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