Don't Do It (DDI): as drought worsens, California farmers paid not to grow crops

C C Offline

INTRO: Green fields of alfalfa and cotton rolled past as Brad Robinson drove through the desert valley where his family has farmed with water from the Colorado River for three generations. Stopping the truck, he stepped onto a dry, brown field where shriveled remnants of alfalfa crunched under his boots.

The water has been temporarily shut off on a portion of Robinson's land. In exchange, he's receiving $909 this year for each acre of farmland left dry and unplanted. The water is instead staying in Lake Mead, near Las Vegas, to help slow the unrelenting decline of the largest reservoir in the country.

Robinson and other growers in the Palo Verde Irrigation District are taking part in a new $38-million program funded by the federal Bureau of Reclamation, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and other water agencies in Arizona and Nevada. The farmers are paid to leave a portion of their lands dry and fallow, and the water saved over the next three years is expected to translate into 3 feet of additional water in Lake Mead, which has declined to its lowest levels since it was filled in the 1930s following the construction of Hoover Dam.

"Honestly, I think I could make more money farming. But for the sake of the Colorado River, I think it's the right thing to do," Robinson said. "The river's going through a bad time right now."

The arrangement is one of a growing number of programs that are springing up along the river to find water-savings in agricultural areas. As reservoirs continue to decline, managers of water districts are looking to start or scale up similar land-fallowing programs in other areas, paying farmers not to farm temporarily on some fields and using the water to ease shortages... (MORE)

Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Farmers use DIY approach with data C C 0 15 Sep 27, 2021 06:06 PM
Last Post: C C
  Grow a once popular, but now forgotten medieval fruit with a vulgar name... C C 1 47 Mar 30, 2021 02:25 AM
Last Post: C C
  'Right to repair' movement spikes in Aus as farmers fight to fix their own tractors C C 0 107 Apr 19, 2020 05:03 AM
Last Post: C C
  How to Grow a Grass Free Lawn and Maintain it C C 0 302 Jun 18, 2018 03:32 AM
Last Post: C C
  How to grow elephant ear plants + How to get out of your apartment lease C C 1 485 Jun 6, 2016 08:08 AM
Last Post: elte
  10 ways to stop hiccups + 10 ideas you must give up to get paid doing what you love C C 1 459 Apr 2, 2016 08:30 AM
Last Post: stryder

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)