SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— California Central Valley farmers are urging Gov. Jerry Brown to veto legislation that would regulate the pumping of well water in California for the first time, despite the state’s ongoing and severe drought.
About half of the state’s water comes from wells, according to Doug Parker—director of UC’s California Institute for Water Resources. California is one of the few states that does not regulate pumping of groundwater. You can drill a well on your own land and suck out as much water as you can get, he said.READ MORE: Firm Once Owned By 'Pharma Bro' Shkreli To Pay $40 Million To Settle Price Gouging Lawsuit
But some experts warn that something needs to be done about the depletion of the state’s groundwater.
“Because of the drought we’ve been seeing a lot more pumping of groundwater, which has been lowering ground water tables and actually causing ground subsidence. The ground actually decreased or depressed in some areas, which causes infrastructure damage as well,” Parker said.
The state legislature responded by passing a package of bills that would give local water agencies the power to regulate, fine, even shut down wells. The state could step in if the locals don’t.READ MORE: Oakland City Council Votes To Increase Police Staffing