When Water Wars Go Bad

California's San Joaquin farmers break faith with allies and try to claim one-third of the San Joaquin's water.

Read Time: 1 minute

September 2, 2000, 5:00 AM PDT

By Chris Steins @urbaninsight


As California water interests are trying to resolve their conflicts through a collaborative process known as CalFed, the largest farming district in the Central Valley has decided to go nuclear. The Westlands Water District, farming on more than 600,000 acres of land on both sides of Interstate 5 west of Fresno, has applied to the state water board to take possession of a third of the water of the San Joaquin River -- water that now goes to 15,000 farmers on the valley's east side. The timing of this bold and brazen move could not be more unfortunate.

Thanks to Chris Steins

Thursday, August 31, 2000 in The Sacramento Bee

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