California Lawmakers Plan To Buy Out Farmers For $1.5B


After several decades of battling farmers in courtrooms over the amount of freshwater they may take from California’s streams and rivers, some state legislators want to purchase out farmers with tax money.

According to a proposition in the Senate, nearly $1.5 B would be spent to purchase “water rights,” which would allow farm owners to hold the water they need from the province’s streams and rivers to irrigate their fields. If state administrators possessed such privileges, they could keep water in streams for the sake of endangered salmon as well as other fish species. Drought has plagued California for the better part of the past 2 decades.

California Is Facing Drought Crisis 

It has prompted a thorough examination of the state’s complicated water infrastructure, as well as suggestions on how it should be improved to assure consistent supply during particularly dry years. A different state proposal would compensate farmers to produce fewer crops in order to preserve water.

As California enters the summer months, which seldom yield any major precipitation, current assessments show that about 98 percent of California is experiencing extreme drought. Many localities have begun to impose water restrictions on homes, primarily by limiting outdoor water consumption such as yard watering. Farmers’ allocations from the 2 significant gov-regulated water systems have been slashed, in a few cases to nil. According to the law, the government owns all of California’s water.

The delicate habitat of the Sacramento/San Joaquin river basin, the biggest delta on America’s West Coast. It is also a habitat for rare salmon and other species and has also been affected by siphoning off all that water. For years, environmentalists and farmers have fought over state and federal regulations limiting how much water may be redirected for farming, which consumes considerably more groundwater than any other industry. The plan is part of funding talks between legislators and Governor Newsom’s administration, which are expected to be completed by the end of the month.