Renée C. Byer/

Al Medvitz checks the salinity in the Sacramento River on his 3,700-acre farm in Montezuma Hills. “Right now I can’t irrigate,” said Medvitz standing near a pump across from his grape orchard. The nearest water supply he has is in a well 2 miles from the grape orchard and will cost $150,000 to build a pipeline and small reservoir system, and still there would not be enough water for his alfalfa fields.

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