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California Advances Bill Banning Hedge Fund Water Profiteering

Source: Bloomberg News

California lawmakers advanced a bill that would prohibit hedge funds and other institutional investors from buying and selling agricultural water resources for financial gain.

Under the measure, which passed the State Assembly by a 46 to 17 vote on Monday afternoon, speculation or profiteering by investment funds in the sale, transfer or lease of water rights on agricultural land would be considered a waste or unreasonable use of water.

In a legislative analysis, the bill’s sponsor, California Assembly member Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, a Democrat, cited a recent Bloomberg Green investigation that showed how institutional investors have purchased agricultural land and used diminishing groundwater ...