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California Farming District Rejects Water Tunnel Plan

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

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

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

(AP) - Board members of a key California farming district have voted not to participate in Gov. Jerry Brown's $16 billion water tunnel proposal.

Farmers in Westlands Water District - the nation's largest irrigation district - said Tuesday the cost was too high to sign on to California's biggest water project in a half-century.

The district is a key player in the project and officials in other districts were watching the vote as they prepare to make their decisions.

Thomas Birmingham, general manager of the Westlands district, said he believes the 7-1 vote against the project might kill it.

Westlands is the first water district to vote on the project.

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