It is decided by the rice growers in California not to sell their water to the water agencies and has preferred to grow rice despite of proposals from water agencies to purchase water for about $700 per acre-foot in a drought conditions, capital press release.
Drought condition prevailing in California for the past four consecutive years has affected the area under paddy production by almost 6%. In the year 2013, 525,000 hectares of land used for paddy production and in 2014, it has declined to 420,000 hectares.
The District Irrigation department, which supplies the water across the region, has told the farmers that they will receive 75% less water from their normal water allocation but still farmers are preferring rice to grow.
One of the rice growers told the resources that though it is tempting to sell water to the agencies as of high prices being offered, but growing rice seems to be a better alternative and he said that he will use water from well for his crop.
The prices offered this year for one acre-foot is almost triple of $250 offered in 2010.One acre-foot is equal to about 326,000 gallons and is sufficient to meet water needs of two southern California families for a year. In March this year, some of the water agencies like Los Angeles based Metro politician Water District of south California has decided to buy water from farmers and has made deals with the district water supplier to supply water to these agencies but the way deals made were quite different from past.
A Metropolitan Water District spokesman noted that though water supplies are cut by 75% of normal water allocations, they could be much lower than that and they are doubtful that is their will be enough supplies of water to sell. But the officials of the irrigation district have prioritized to supply water to industrial and municipal users.
California is the second largest state of the U.S in rice production after Arkansas and contributes to about 25% of annual rice production of U.S.
Currently prices for California medium grain rice stands at around $870 per ton , down by 5% from around $915 per ton in the beginning of this year.