published on September 19, 2017 - 4:33 PM
Written by Associated Press

Board members of a key California farming district have voted not to participate in Gov. Jerry Brown’s $16 billion water tunnel proposal.

Farmers in Westlands Water District — the nation’s largest irrigation district — said Tuesday the cost was too high to sign on to California’s biggest water project in a half-century.

The district is a key player in the project and officials in other districts were watching the vote as they prepare to make their decisions.

Thomas Birmingham, general manager of the Westlands district, said he believes the 7-1 vote against the project might kill it.

Westlands is the first water district to vote on the project.
9:30 a.m.
Farmers in the nation’s largest irrigation district are considering whether to sign on to California’s biggest water project in a half-century.

The Westlands Water District is meeting Tuesday in Fresno for a possible vote on its participation in Gov. Jerry Brown’s $16 billion twin tunnels project.

The district in the fertile San Joaquin Valley is a key player in plans to reengineer the state’s water system for moving Northern California water to points south.

No water districts so far have committed to paying.

It’s unclear whether the Westlands board will take a firm stand, or postpone its vote because of the high cost.

The district supports a newly disclosed funding plan that would spread the cost out over dozens of water agencies and millions of families.

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