More Dudley Ridge landowners are selling water rights
Last week in the N.Y Times, Felicity Barringer reported on a proposal for two farmers in Dudley Ridge Water District in the southern San Joaquin Valley to sell their water rights for development at Tejon Ranch. Selling 2,000 acre-feet annually for $5,850 an acre-foot will net the sellers $11.7 million.
Says Barringer, “Water managers in rural areas argue that without a consistent supply of water, farmers face economic chaos, if not ruin. Among other things, they cannot be sure of the viability of longer-term crops like fruit and nut trees. Annual crops like tomatoes can be abandoned for a year and the fields left fallow, but trees must be watered in wet years and dry ones. So they say they need the option of selling their rights.”
“At the same time, it is inevitable that the push for new development, which is expected to resume if the economic recovery picks up speed, will mean a search for water rights for homes and industry.”
So let’s see . . . fruit trees need guaranteed water every year, but so do new houses. It appears once again that southern San Joaquin Valley land owners plan to make a tidy profit from growing new development, instead of fruit, with water from the State Water Project – all at the Delta’s expense.
Click here for article.