Wednesday September 14, 2022

WSB Radio

When Don Cox was looking for a reliable place to build a family farm in the 1950s, he settled on California’s Imperial Valley.

The desert region had high priority water rights, meaning its access to water was hard for anyone to take away.

“He had it on his mind that water rights were very, very important,” said his grandson, Thomas Cox, who now farms in the Valley.

He was right. Today the Imperial Valley, which provides many of the nation’s winter vegetables and cattle feed, has one of the strongest grips on water from the Colorado River, a critical but over-tapped supply for farms and cities across the West. In times of shortage, Arizona and Nevada must cut first.

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