Re "Water sale exploits a shared resource" (Other View, Aug. 8): Water in California is a public resource. Landowners have a right to use as much groundwater extracted from below their property as they can put to beneficial use, a usufruct, a right to use something they do not own.
Neither the usufruct nor the 32 beneficial uses defined by the State Water Resources Control Board include selling groundwater outside the basin.
The proposed sale of groundwater from Merced County farms to a water district outside the basin will lower groundwater levels in Merced County even further so that landowners in Merced County will spend more on energy to pump groundwater from lower levels while the sellers reap a huge profit.
Merced County has no groundwater management plan or ordinance in place to prevent such sales without studies that show there would be no groundwater depletion, no deleterious changes in groundwater quality and no subsidence.
We hope this can be rectified. -- Carl Hauge, Sacramento