Farmers Respond to Fallowing Program

From Staff and Wire Reports

A plan to have Imperial Valley farmers fallow their crops in order to send water to San Diego County apparently has attracted enough takers to set the project in motion next month.

The Imperial Irrigation District won't know exactly how many proposals from farmers it has received until next week. Spokeswoman Susan Giller said early estimates show enough farmers have signed on to implement the 13-month emergency fallowing program on Dec. 1.

The program is a key part of a deal forged by Southern California water agencies to reduce the state's historic overuse of the Colorado River.

The irrigation district seeks to idle 2,500 acres of farmland. Two-thirds of the water saved by the program would go to San Diego County and the remaining third to the Salton Sea, which is at risk of becoming overly salinized.

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