California Farmers To Forgo Planting: Sell Water To Thirsty Cities Instead
In Georgia, we noted, some folks like to "borrow" water for free instead of offering to pay the neighbors. Quite a different political culture than Southern California.
Thirsty Southern California cities are turning to water-rich farmers on the eastern edge of Riverside County for additional supplies to make up for the ongoing drought and other restrictions on the life-sustaining resource.We should mention that the Colorado River Aqueduct project, drawing water from behind the Parker Dam, was built as a New Deal project. (Interestingly, so was Lake Lanier, in Georgia, built at Federal taxpayer expense.)
Starting this summer, farmers in the Palo Verde Valley along the Colorado River will forgo planting crops on nearly 26,000 acres, the most land yet under a little-known fallowing agreement with Metropolitan Water District. The pact will double the amount now being sent to MWD and its 18 million urban customers. In exchange, MWD will pay the farmers $16.8 million each year for 115,000 acre-feet of water -- almost 37.5 billion gallons.
Aside: When we last posted about the New Deal - looking for a New Green Deal in the future - several commenter's pointed out that certain US economists feel that such Public Works Administration funded projects slowed down recovery from the Great Depression. That sort of thinking begs the question of what they would drink in Southern California if the aqueduct had not been built. Or where the US would have gotten its winter vegetables and fruits from for the last 60 years.