© Natural News
As the water shortage crisis in California rises to a boil, desperate farmers are coming forward to bid on the remaining steam. The Central Valley in California is indeed drying up, but private landowners who still have leftover water reserves on their property are now looking to cash in.
A California water rush is on, as water is being auctioned for millions and aquifers are depleted
According to state records, two water districts in California are beginning to auction off their private supplies of water. The two landowners in charge have reportedly made millions off their water stashes. The Buena Vista Water Storage District has already raked in about $13.5
million from the auction of 12,000 acre-feet of water this year.
Upon hearing the news, at least 40 other land owners have begun to prepare for a massive sell-off of their surplus water storage. Drilling for water has become more important than drilling for oil, as water banks are drained at an alarming rate.
The demand for California water is at an all-time high. In the past five years, the price of water has spiked tenfold. An acre-foot of water can now go for $2,200 in drought-stricken regions. As the aquifers are depleted to the highest bidder, it's only a matter of time before the less fortunate are put at the mercy of those who have a hand on the water tap.
Some are calling on new state regulations to ensure that the water distribution remains transparent. "If you have a really scarce natural resource that the state's economy depends on, it would be nice to have it run efficiently and transparently," said Richard Howitt, professor emeritus at the University of California
Others believe that the free market is more capable of controlling the price of the important natural resource. "We think that buyers and sellers can negotiate their own deals better than the state," said Nancy Quan, a supervising engineer with the California Department of Water Resources.