California Water Wars Spotlight: San Joaquin Valley

The sign says it all. And it’s true. California Central Valley farmers receive only a fraction of their allotted water, even though they pay for all of it. This year their allocation will be a mere 30%.

Read more about The San Joaquin Valley water wars in my latest article on IVN


  1. So then why do they continue to pay for water they don’t get? Did somebody just wake up and look for how the state is screwing the locals and just realize they’re paying for 100% of the water they are supposed to be allocated and they’re not getting 100% or what?

  2. They don’t have any choice. They have to pay it. And then fight for whatever water they think they can grab. Just like everyone else in California.

    • Ok, maybe I’m being too simplistic about this, but how does California get it’s water money from the local level? I would assume it’s from some sort of taxes right? If I get a water bill and it’s twice as high as what I’m actually using, do you think I’m going to pay 100% of the bill? If the state is saying to the locals that they have to pay 100% up front and get what they get or get nothing, then that’s extortion and illegal.

  3. Well, that depends on whether the farmers are getting federal water, state water, water passed through another entity, and whether they are junior or senior partners. In this case, the contract did say they might have some lower allocations than 100% but no one ever expected 30-50% allocations on a continuing basis.

    BTW, the water you drink in LA comes from hundreds of miles away, either from the Sacramento Delta or maybe even the Colorado River. there is practically no local water in southern California, especially not for 20 million people.

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