Saturday, January 26, 2008

Definition of chutzpah -- sell your subsidized water back to the government

Hats off to the hardworking, sod-busting California farmers. The government supplies them with water at less than cost. They turn around and sell it back to the government. Another instance of the byzantine, unintelligible ways of U.S. agriculture. From Yahoo News, via Associated Press: With water becoming increasingly precious in California, a rising number of farmers figure they can make more money by selling their water than by actually growing something. Because farmers get their water at subsidized rates, some of them see financial opportunity this year in selling their allotments to Los Angeles and other desperately thirsty cities across Southern California, as well as to other farms.

"It just makes dollars and sense right now," said Bruce Rolen, a third-generation farmer who grows rice, wheat and other crops in Northern California's lush Sacramento Valley....

Map of California water canals from the U.S Congressional Budget Office.

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