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California Farmers Get Full Water Supply, 1st Time In Years

Irrigation water runs along the dried-up ditch between the rice farms to prov...

Credit: Associated Press

Above: Irrigation water runs along the dried-up ditch between the rice farms to provide water for the rice fields in Richvale, Calif., May 1, 2014.

Farmers in a vast region of California will receive their fully contracted amount of irrigation water this year for the first time in more than a decade.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced the allocation on Tuesday following one of California's wettest winters in years. It comes days after Gov. Jerry Brown lifted the years-long drought emergency for most of the state.

The federally run system of reservoirs and canals provides water to irrigate roughly one-third of California's farmland.

California leads the nation in agriculture, producing nearly half the nation's fruits, nuts and vegetables.

Pablo Arroyave, of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, said everybody should be careful not to waste water. He said the next drought could be around the corner.

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