Massive California farm-to-city water deal snared in litigation

From the LA Times:

The 2003 agreement between the rural Imperial Valley and heavily urbanized San Diego County was billed as a win-win. But a case of sellers’ remorse has set in, with the Salton Sea’s fate a key issue.

A 2003 water pact between the Imperial Valley and San Diego County was supposed to be good for both parties, and for California.

But the agreement — billed as the largest sale of water from farms to cities in the nation — is snared in litigation and the outcome is uncertain. No sooner had the pact been signed than it came under attack by environmentalists, farmers and the Imperial County Board of Supervisors.

One major point of contention is that the Salton Sea could become saltier and shrink if farmers reduce agricultural runoff into the sea because water is being sold to San Diego County. If the sea recedes further and becomes more saline, it could lead to massive fish die-offs, endanger migratory fowl and result in toxic dust storms.

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