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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Supreme Court has refused to change a decision last year that allows big farms to use billions of gallons of water.

The court said Wednesday it will not change its ruling upholding a 2010 law that allows large farms to take river water without obtaining a permit from the state.

Residents in Bamberg, Darlington and Greenville counties had said the law favors large farms over the needs of others.

The court had said last year the law had not hurt anyone by depriving them of water.

An attorney representing the residents, Amy Armstrong, said she was disappointed with the ruling.

Large farm operators say the law is not depleting rivers.