California farmers sell water instead of crops

RIVERSIDE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA — Starting this summer, farmers in the Palo Verde Valley along the Colorado River will forgo planting crops on nearly 26,000 acres under a little-known fallowing agreement with Metropolitan Water District. In exchange, MWD will pay the farmers $16.8 million each year for 115,000 acre-feet of water — almost 37.5 billion gallons. The pact will double the amount now being sent to MWD and its 18 million urban customers.

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