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California Plan Would Pay Farmers to Grow Less to Save Water

California would pay farmers not to plant thousands of acres of land as part of a $2.9 billion plan announced Tuesday aimed at letting more water flow through the state’s major rivers and streams to help restore the unique habitat in one of North America’s largest estuaries.

The agreement, signed Tuesday between state and federal officials and some of California’s biggest water agencies, would result in about 35,000 acres of rice fields left unused — or about 6% of the state’s normal crop each year, according to the California Rice Commission.