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CASA GRANDE, Ariz. -- A state Department of Water Resources plan to gradually reduce agricultural groundwater rights is drawing fire from some Arizona farmers.

The Case Grande Dispatch reported that nearly 150 people packed Casa Grande City Hall council chambers this week to voice opposition on a plan they say will strip the value from area farmland.

Under the rule approved several years ago, agricultural "water credits" begin to decline in 2014, when the allocation factor drops to 94 percent of the original amount. In 2015, the number drops to 88 percent.

Dick Powell, a City Council member and local businessman, said the ruling could have a negative impact on the area economy by potentially taking thousands of acres of agricultural land out of production.

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Information from: Casa Grande Dispatch.

Associated Press,

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