Homes go dry as water goes to nuts

June 26, 2014 

Dear keepers of the water,

I am asking you to please stop! Communities are losing their wells while farmers are pumping thousands of gallons to protect a bumper crop of nuts.

My parents live in the small community of Gratton. They have worked hard and saved responsibly all their lives to enjoy their retirement. This means the home they live in is paid for, but they have just enough money to pay their monthly bills and a little extra to go camping and golfing.

As they sit by and watch well water being pumped 24 hours a day into the canals by local farmers, their neighbors are living in homes with no water.

It is a 10- to 12-week wait for a new well – if you can afford it.

I have a solution. The farmers should be required to pay for the new well, and the costs associated with being without water for three-plus months. They should be able to afford it from the income they will get from the nuts they use the water to grow.

Come on farmers! These are your neighbors. How can you turn a blind eye and leave them high and dry?

Vicki McCaskill, Turlock

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