California Farmers Begin Selling Water Instead Of Crops As Drought Reaches Critical Stage

So how bad is the drought getting in California? According to a report from Natural News, California farmers are making more money selling water than planting their fields in some cases. The rice industry in the Sacramento Valley has really been struggling with this year’s drought. Some farmers are choosing not to plant this year and are cashing in on their water rights instead. This controversial move on the part of the farmers is not a cut and “dry” deal. “In the long term, if we don’t make it available we’re afraid they’ll just take it,” said Charlie Mathews, a fourth-generation rice farmer with senior rights to Yuba River water. [Photo Credit: Orchards in the San Joaquin Valley. Matthews and other local farmers “have agreed to sell 20 percent of their allotment to Los Angeles’s Metropolitan Water District as it desperately searches to add to its dwindling supply,” reported CBS San Francisco. This kind of arrangement is gaining in popularity especially as water prices continue to climb, making the water more valuable than the returns from crops.

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