Westlands Water District

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  • The Westlands Water District, which provides water to agriculture in California's Kings and Fresno counties, in many ways exemplifies the tension between environmentalists and agricultural interests that develops when water is transported to irrigate regions that otherwise might be unfit for agriculture. Westlands is the largest agricultural water district in the United States. Lands watered by Westlands waters produce some 20 percent of the agricultural output of Fresno County. Although established in 1952, Westlands did not begin to receive water from federal reclamation efforts until the completion of the San Luis Dam in California's Central Valley in 1968.

    The aim of Westlands had been to bring small farmers into the region, but most of the land was owned by large corporations, such as the Southern Pacific ...

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