The feds are supposed, by contract, to limit water cuts to a Central Valley water settlement contractor to 75% of the full amount. Instead they may get 40%, which means 60% of cropland will go fallow. And they are among the lucky ones. Some Central Valley agriculture will get zero water from state and federal water projects.
“Forty percent is inconsistent with the terms of our contract, so we’re wrestling with that,” Bettner said. “Until we have those conversations with Reclamation, it’s too soon to decide what our next steps are going to be.”
If the cut holds, Bettner said, he expects this would require a 60 percent reduction in planted acres in his district, which would affect rice, tomato and corn production.