When we were planting the last section of the Hughson Arboretum and Gardens, we decided that we would not plant a lawn because everything we heard and read indicated that the continual use of water would waste a very precious commodity – water – and that wells might go dry because of it. We even planned to teach people how to use water wisely as part of our program.
However, what we would use for the arboretum lawn wouldn’t even be a trickle compared with the 36.5 billion gallons the Turlock Irrigation District is pumping out of the ground this year. And the aquifer continues to be depleted. The TID offers an interesting review of its actions. But it needs to be asked some thoughtful and ethical questions of its policy.
One of the problems is that people (and companies) want to irrigate land that has never before been planted, and they expect to use groundwater. Do they have the right to dig very deep wells to do it? Should they be allowed to receive additional water from the irrigation districts when they request it?
Our policy needs to be in place so that our great-great-grandchildren will have water.