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Some CA Farmers Could Be Paid To Leave Land Vacant

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Sacramento, CA — The State of California, federal government, and some major water agencies have put together a memorandum of understanding that would, among other things, pay some farmers not to plant on thousands of acres of farmland.

It is part of an overall $2.9 billion plan endorsed by Governor Gavin Newsom. The funding would come from state and federal agencies, and water agencies. It is being promoted as a peace treaty in California’s ongoing water wars.

Governor Newsom argues it balances the need for a “healthy ecosystem and healthy economy.” Not all of the specifics are known, and the plan would still need to be approved by state regulators.

The Associated Press reports that it would result in an extra 824,000 acre feet (1 billion cubic meters) of water each year flowing through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. One acre foot of water is more than 325,000 gallons, which is usually enough to supply two average households for one year.

Some environmental groups are already coming out against it, arguing that it doesn’t go far enough to conserve water, and protect certain fish species.