There has been a lot of attention in the media this week to the subject of groundwater overdraft and subsidence, or settling of the land when groundwater is pumped. While this is an extremely important issue for California, people should remember that not all overdraft is the same and “one size fits all” solutions are a mistake.
There has been a lot of attention in the media this week to the subject of groundwater overdraft and subsidence. While this is an important issue, people should remember that not all overdraft is the same and “one size fits all” solutions are a mistake.
Stanislaus County water officials have observed declining groundwater levels due to increased farmland development in the foothills east of Oakdale, Turlock and Modesto. Local leaders are working with the farming community to find common sense solutions that protect groundwater resources and preserve agriculture
Districts that were formed out of the original land holdings of historic figure Henry Miller near Los Baños are working with today’s landowners to shift to shallower pumping and replenishing groundwater with surplus flows every few years from the San Joaquin River.
On the Westside subsidence isn’t a new problem either. One of the consequences of federal Endangered Species Act pumping restrictions in the Delta is more groundwater pumping in the Valley. CVP south-of-Delta surface water deliveries have declined by 40, 60 and 90 percent in recent years. Reliable surface water deliveries will take pressure off of the need to pump groundwater, as they did in the past.
There is no shortage of advocates pushing for State-controlled groundwater pumping regulations. The “one size fits all” regulatory approach we usually see from Sacramento is unnecessary and further removes local decision makers from exercising their knowledge of local conditions to find local solutions that work for everyone.
*For more info, click here.