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Water costs in California skyrocket 1,000%

Staff writer |
CaliforniaOne of the worst droughts in U.S. history is making water expensive: Farmers in California's Central Valley are paying as much as 10 times more for water than they did before.

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One way to deal with the drought is for farmers to plant fewer fields, which would of course mean fewer crops; which means hiher prices. Another option would be to pay premium prices for the remaining available water, which would also add to the final cost of crops.

As reported by Bloomberg Briefs, costs to raise crops in California have soared to $1,100 an acre, or $140 more per acre than last year in the Fresno-based Westlands Water District, a region representing 700 farms, according to Gayle Holman, a spokeswoman for the district. In the Western Canal Water District, water is selling for double the usual price: $500 per acre-foot, which is about 326,000 gallons.

The most severe shortages have occurred in the San Joaquin Valley, said Mike Wade, executive director of the California Farm Water Coalition, a group based in Sacramento that represents farmers and most agricultural irrigation districts in the state.

The entire states of California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico, along with most of Texas, Utah and Oregon, are experiencing various levels of drought conditions.

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