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$1.9 million dollar grant awarded to help farmers trade water supplies

A project is underway in Ventura County on a way for farmers to buy and trade water supplies.

In January Ventura County opened the first of its kind water market. It allows farmers to transfer unused groundwater allocation to other farmers for financial compensation.

Under California law, farmers have to use the water on their property or they lose access to it in the future. The incentive in this project is for farmers to conserve water.

“What farmers have the ability to trade is one-acre foot of groundwater pumping,” said Matthew Fienup, executive director for economic research at Cal Lutheran University. “An acre-foot is a little over 300,000 gallons and what they do is if they have water to sell they sell that at the water market which is facilitated at Cal Lutheran University or if they have water they can bid on it at the water market.”

The United States Department of Agriculture recently awarded a 1.9 million dollar grant to expand the pilot project.

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