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Millions Of Californians May Be On Hook For Water Tunnels Funding

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

In this Feb. 25, 2016, file photo, water flows through an irrigation canal to crops near Lemoore, Calif.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - California is increasing the pressure on millions of Californians to help pay for two giant water tunnels that Gov. Jerry Brown wants built.

The Associated Press obtained documents Friday and confirmed the expanded funding proposal in interviews with state and local water officials.

Brown wants to re-engineer California's north-south water system in the $16 billion project. Amid doubts about whether the mega-project is worth the cost, no big water district has yet to sign on to help pay.

California now says more than two dozen water districts that already get their water from the state will have to help pay for the tunnels or find another water contractor to take on the cost.

The state's leading agricultural water district on Tuesday will consider asking the federal government to require the same of California water agencies it supplies.

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