The Water Marketplace : The Indicator from Planet Money New rules governing water use in California have sparked innovation in agribusiness, including a brand new market for water.

The Water Marketplace

The Water Marketplace

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Constanza Gallardo /NPR
California's groundwater trading market.
Constanza Gallardo /NPR

After seven years of drought in California that drained aquifers and brought many farmers to the brink, legislators in Sacramento crafted a bunch of rules governing water usage. Those rules, many of which kick in next year, cap how much water farmers and cities can use.

The regulations have caused a lot of anger and panic in the farming community. But also...a lot of innovation. Pilot programs have cropped up all over that state that create little marketplaces for water — where farmers and others can buy and sell it, like you'd sell oil or gas or wheat.

On today's Indicator: California's new water markets: how they came to be and how they're changing life for farmers and for water use in the West.

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