Why are our farmers using groundwater when we have an abundance of surface water? The cost is the same, they run the water through the same pump. A farmer was watering trees the other day and chose to use groundwater. Our domestic wells are drying up because of the deep agricultural wells. I can understand using them during the drought years, but not when we are flooding our rivers.
If a farmer chooses to sell his groundwater, and runs his pump 24/7 to get it, does he have the right to sell the water? What about the shallower domestic wells in his area? He was drawing water and lowering the water table those domestic well users rely on. Does he owe money to those around him? It’s the same water; who has the right to it? We need to do something or we will run out of water and that means no farming.
Harold Willey, Modesto
Editor’s note: The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act was passed in 2014, requiring all of the state’s groundwater basins to be managed for long-term sustainability; it will be phased in over the next 17 years.