Mar 27 2015

Agriculture Water Use and Groundwater Loss Critical

Drought emergency reminds residents they are not the most intensive water users. –

While agriculture uses 75% of the state’s water, the California State Water Resources Control Board has focused water use restrictions on urban and suburban areas.  In a recent editorial the San Diego Union-Tribune criticized the State Water Resources Control Board’s meager and ineffective regulation of groundwater pumping and high water consuming agricultural crops.

“… groundwater is being pumped so rapidly for agriculture in the Central Valley that the land in some areas is literally sinking at the rate of a foot or more per year. Should we really be growing water-intensive crops like almonds and rice in drought-prone California? The Legislature last year finally enacted a package of bills intended to end the state’s pump-as-you-please groundwater policy. But it merely requires local water agencies to develop groundwater management plans.”

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