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Worsening Drought Drives California Water Prices to All-Time High

The average spot price of water in the state is up 56% since start of the year.

Sprinklers operate at an agricultural field next to an irrigation ditch near Mecca, California, on July 12.

Sprinklers operate at an agricultural field next to an irrigation ditch near Mecca, California, on July 12.

Photographer: Mario Tama/Getty Images 

California water prices are at all-time high as a severe drought chokes off supplies to cities and farms across the Golden State. 

The price of water on the Nasdaq Veles California Water Index touched $1,144.14 an acre-foot on June 27 — up 56% since the start of the year. The index tracks the average price of water-rights transactions in five markets in the state.