California’s Shame Not To Regulate Pumping Of Ground Water


California is one of the few states in America which claims a number of superlatives. Other than being ranked as the ninth largest economy in the world, it’s also home to the world’s largest living tree in the world. It also has the driest locations in the United States. It is this last distinction that causes most of the downsides which California experiences.

The state relies on rare winter storms which recharge its ground water and restore portable   water which the state residents use. But in certain times w here drought bites hard, the state relies mostly on ground water. Available statistics show that up to 65% of water supplies that are used in the state are sourced from ground supplies.

Water regulation

It’s a shame that California is the only state that doesn’t regulate the pumping of groundwater. The state officers don’t measure and monitor ground water usage at all. There are a total of 127 basins which supply the state’s residential population with water for use and these resources have been stressed by over pumping.


“This is a huge failure by the state officials because in times of shortage, more problems could be experienced by the residents,” said Trevor McGregor, a resident.

He further says that the state has undergone many problems and even now, its three years since the last meaningful rainfall hit the ground. When the water is pumped excessively a sit is now, the results are possible long term or permanent damages.

As underground water sources are pumped dry, there is more likelihood that the ground sinks. For instance, some parts of Joaquin Valley have sunk because excessive underground water was extracted. By early 1970s, the ground sunk by about 28 feet.

Now that California is experiencing extreme drought, a lot of well drilling has taken place. This makes it very expensive to repair canals dams, pipelines and also the built environment. There is no way that the land that is being drilled can be restored to its original state.

This is a real tragedy because the state, as well as the people of California requires those aquiver. Groundwater offers a cheaper alternative when compared to other forms of storing water. However, when ground storage areas are compacted by pumping too much water, high replacement cost is considered.

The federal government takes an active role when it comes to water policy and legislation in the western states. There are many lessons which the federal as well as the state governments can learn from Australians who learned about their water rights when they were hit by a devastating drought. This helped to reinforce the notion that water is a public good that is owned by the general public.

California is famed for its innovative history. Most states have been looking to it for inspirations and a wide range of innovative solutions. However, the state should enact policies which will help them cut down on their energy costs.

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