FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — The Dudley Ridge Water District is located in Southern Kings County, adjacent to the California Aqueduct near Kettleman City. The roughly 30 thousand acre district has just a few property owners. They grow mostly almonds, pistachios and pomegranates. But to some critics, one of their biggest cash crops is water.
The Dudley Ridge Water District sold the rights to 14 thousand acre feet of water to the Mojave Water District in Southern California last year for $73-million. Dudley Ridge Water District Manager Dale Melville explained it this way. “It’s an economic business decision the landowners needed to make.”
The sale raised alarm bells in Kings County, and prompted a Grand Jury Investigation. Which found no wrongdoing. But State Assembly member Juan Arambula was concerned. “I think what is going on might be legal, but it’s not right.”