Add money, move water

Interesting tidbit out of California’s San Joaquin Valley:

Pasture owners around Oakdale willing to go without water will be paid for fallowing their land this year, Oakdale Irrigation District directors decided Tuesday.

The water saved by idling fields will be sold to thirsty out-of-county water agencies. OID landowners volunteering for the deal could collect millions in “cash incentives” and funds to pay for conservation practices on their private properties.

The publicly owned irrigation district expects to sell the saved water for a whopping $400 per acre-foot. OID customers have been paying an average of only $4.30 per acre-foot to irrigate, but water-starved farmers elsewhere – like those in Fresno County’s Westlands Water District – apparently are willing to pay 93 times more than that.