Judge won’t validate water deal for California farm supplier

In this June 25, 2013, photo, workers move irrigation pipes from a field in the Westlands Water District near Five Points. A California judge has declined to validate a permanent water contract between the federal government and the Westlands Water District, the nation’s largest agricultural water supplier. AP photo/Gosia Wozniacka photo
Kathleen RonayneThe Associated PressA California judge has declined to validate a contract granting permanent access to federally controlled water for the nation’s largest agricultural water supplier, a move that means the U.S. government is not bound by terms of the deal.Environmentalists had blasted the contract between the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the Westlands Water District as a sweetheart arrangement designed to benefit corporate agricultural interests over environmental needs and taxpayers. It was crafted during the Donald Trump administration under former Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, a former lobbyist for Westlands, a public entity based in Fresno that supplies water to private farmers.“This was an effort to basically steal public resources and pu
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