As California continues to endure its historic drought, a huge water district in the southern part of the state is offering to pay what is thought to be its highest price ever for water from farmers in the north—more than double what it paid just five years ago.
"We're going to make a lot more selling the water than planting the rice," Lance Tennis, whose family owns about 900 acres of farmland in southern Butte County, about 80 miles north of Sacramento, said Tuesday. "This is a huge deal."
The offer from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and others to buy water from the Sacramento Valley for $700 per acre-foot reflects how dire the situation is as the state suffers through its fourth year of drought. In 2010 — also a drought year — it bought water but only paid between $244 and $300 for the same amount. The district stretches from Los Angeles to San Diego County.