Groundwater Regulation

Agriculture uses 75-80% of all the water in California. Industrial, business, and entertainment uses are all another 7% each of the total uses. That leaves around 10% for all multi and single family residential units. Read the article

Because of the current drought, California’s Business and Home Owners are being asked to reduce their water usage by 20%. This is on top of the 20% reductions asked by the state a few years ago. With all the restrictions and reductions going on, it’s hard for me to believe that changes in the agricultural system can’t be made. Large farms get subsidized to plant high water usage crops while drilling 2000 feet down draining our precious underground aquifers to maintain them. The smaller farms could not afford to drill that deep and don’t get the government bailout like the large farms do. If this is wrong, let me know. Large farms could change those crops to a more water efficient product. Irrigation could change to a drip type system or use underground watering. This would save the state millions of gallons of water and potentially lift the water restrictions business and home owners are now facing.

Groundwater is our back up system for when we need it. It is California’s insurance policy. It is owned by the state, not individuals. As water reserves are depleted people will view property in California as "at risk" lowering property values. What happens to new property developments? Do they have the same rights as pre-existing properties? If property values drop, due to new limited water restrictions, then there will be less taxes flowing into the State coffers. Who pays for the affects of drought if water tables become so low and the drought continues? Five hundred years ago the Chaco and other four corner native tribes had to leave their native lands because they had no water. We know the history. We know we have entered a long term drought with no knowledge on how long it will last. We know there are significant changes that need to be made. So why then, do those that help create the water losses, especially those that continue to delete our reserves keep making millions of dollars off of our water?

Making money is great, but if you take it from the community chest you need to compensate all those affected. Whether it is legal or just is an ethical question. Common sense tells you what to do. If you are making money at another’s expense by causing harm to the limited pool of water, on grade or below, you need to cover the expense you inflict on the other parties. It’s great to make a living off the land, but we need to grow crops that can feed Californians. This is true when you can feed other states or even other parts of the world. These are very important choices. As the price of water goes up so does the price of food stuffs. As crops are sold out of state and we continue to use our water, currently especially our groundwater, our futures will be impacted by this unwise lack of application of common sense. To me this is a way to steal from one group to make a profit for an owner of a large agribusiness and their shareholders. This is not practical or just!

Please let your government representatives know you support strong controls on the use of groundwater and protecting private property rights as they are affected by the use of our limited natural resources!