California farmers with the oldest water rights in the San Joaquin River Watershed will no longer be able to draw water from the river as a result of the state's historic drought.
An engineer with the California State Water Resources Board told a public meeting on Thursday that the curtailment orders will be issued on Friday, The Associated Press reported.
There are two types of water-rights holders in California: pre-1914 and post-1914.
Post-1914 rights holders in the watershed were ordered by the water board on April 23 not to withdraw any more water from the San Joaquin River. At the time, the board warned that restrictions were also possible for the oldest rights holders.
Farmers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta who have California's oldest water rights had proposed to voluntarily cut their use by 25 percent to avoid the possibility of even harsher restrictions by the state, the AP reported.
Post-1914 rights were also curtailed May 1 on the Sacramento River Watershed.
California remains in the grips of an historic drought that is now in its fourth year.
"No appreciable relief from the extended drought won't be coming this spring and summer," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jack Boston said. "There will be an actual benefit to California this coming fall and winter when the current El Nino is strengthening.
Precipitation has been above average recently in the Golden State but it has been only a slight help because of the deepening drought, Boston said.
"But it definitely doesn't hurt," he said.