Dam water to be tapped amid California drought

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Updated: 5/13 12:47 pm

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Officials for the first time in decades plan to tap water stored behind a dam east of Fresno, as they try to help California farmers through the ongoing drought.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced Tuesday that low water levels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta have forced them to turn to Friant Dam on the San Joaquin River. The dam forms the Millerton Lake reservoir.

Bureau officials say Millerton Lake water is needed to meet their contractual water obligations to the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors Water Authority. The exchange provides irrigation water to about 240,000 acres of farmland between Patterson and Mendota.

The bureau has previously relied on Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta water to meet the exchange's needs.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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