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Federal water allocation for drought-stricken California farms cut to zero

The California Drought Task Force works in the Cal OES State Operations Center in Mather, California, February 19, 2014. REUTERS/Max Whittak
The California Drought Task Force works in the Cal OES State Operations Center in Mather, California, February 19, 2014. REUTERS/Max Whittak

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The worsening drought in California will force a first-ever complete cutoff of federally supplied irrigation water to most farm districts throughout the state's Central Valley heartland this year, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said on Friday.

The projected 2014 zero allocation to all but a handful of agricultural districts supplied by the federally run Central Valley Project comes three weeks after forecasts of similarly drastic cuts were announced by managers of a separate water-delivery system operated by the state.

California grows roughly half of all U.S. fruits and vegetables, most of that in the Central Valley, and ranks as the No. 1 farm state by value of agricultural products produced each year.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)

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