By James Taylor

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – As California’s drought worsens, state water officials are preparing to take emergency action to conserve.

The state water board is voting later this morning on new water restrictions that could impact thousands of farmers. If passed, the emergency regulations would restrict anyone from diverting water out of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers and their tributaries.

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The goal is to protect downstream water quality and flow requirements.

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“The widest swath of the state’s farmland is potentially at issue here,” said Chris Scheuring with the California Farm Bureau. “It’s a more severe curtailment action than we have seen in a long time, if ever.”

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If passed, the new regulations would take effect later this month. Under California law, anyone caught diverting water could face fines up to $1,000 per day.