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As Drought Continues, Farmers Fear Feds Could Seize Water

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Without water, fields lay fallow and cropless on a California farm that receives no water.  (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Without water, fields lay fallow and cropless on a California farm that receives no water. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

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SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) – With no end in sight to California’s drought, farmers in the San Joaquin Valley fear federal officials could seize water in the San Luis Reservoir intended for their crops.

The Fresno Bee says dropping reservoir levels across the state are leading to struggles over water set aside via the Central Valley Project, a federally-run network of reservoirs, pumping plants and canals.

That includes about 340,000 acre-feet of water stored at San Luis Reservoir.

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As federal officials consider the lingering drought, they have declined to rule out the possibility of taking the carried-over water for other purposes outlined by the CVP.

Farmers and lawmakers of both parties are urging the Interior Department not to redirect the water.

The Bureau of Reclamation is set to announce its initial water allocations in late February.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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