SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – California is easing water restrictions on some of those with the state’s strongest water rights.

The state Water Resources Control Board on Friday announced that 238 senior water rights holders could resume pumping water from three Northern California watersheds — the Feather River, Sacramento River, and the delta of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers.

Water board rights manager Kathy Mrowka says existing water users along those waterways have reduced their water consumption. Mrowka says that has allowed the state to clear 238 more rights’ holders to resume taking out water.

California’s water law is based on protecting the rights of those whose claims to water were staked more than a century ago. This June’s state restrictions to those so-called senior water-rights holders were among the first ever.