California judge says she'll likely uphold water cuts for farmers in drought

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A California judge says she'll likely side with state regulators seeking to cut agricultural water use in the drought.

At a hearing Thursday, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne Chang said she believes the state's revised approach to warning farmers of insufficient supplies is legal.

At issue are thousands of notices sent this year to farmers, government agencies and corporations with water rights telling them to cease pumping because rivers and streams were too dry to meet demand.

Chang previously ruled the initial notices violated the due process rights of farmers.

The State Water Resources Control Board responded by sending new letters that stripped out mandatory-sounding language. The West Side Irrigation District says the new letters are also illegal.

The judge did not issue a final ruling.

The state has threatened to fine users who take water illegally.