"California To Ease Water Restrictions in Move To Help Farmers"

"Drought-plagued California will ease some protection for fish in the fragile San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta, officials said Tuesday, a move expected to make more water available for farming and ease political tensions in an election year.

The move marks a retreat from restrictions imposed earlier in the year which had widely been expected to be tightened further, rather than eased, and was welcomed in the agricultural community.

"California's agriculture is critical to the world's food supply," said assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, who represents part of the San Joaquin Valley, who had lobbied hard against the restrictions. "An inability to produce that food would clearly be devastating to health and human safety not only in California but around the globe."

Citing recent rains, regulators said Tuesday there was enough water in the state's reservoirs now to partially ease restrictions."

Sharon Bernstein reports for Reuters March 20, 2014.

Source: Reuters, 03/20/2014