Water & Drought

Water & Drought

Farmers say, ‘No apologies,’ as well drilling hits record levels in San Joaquin Valley

Two years after California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill designed to limit groundwater pumping, new wells are going in faster and deeper than ever in the San Joaquin Valley farm belt. Farmers drilled about 2,500 wells last year, the highest number on record. That was five times the annual average for the previous 30 years. Farmers say they have no choice, given cuts in surface water deliveries.

Water & Drought

California water districts: We can handle three more years of drought

About 85 percent of California’s urban water districts have told the state they believe they have adequate supplies to handle continued drought and should not be subject to state-mandated conservation targets. As a result, state regulators will not force most districts to reduce water use this year, even as they caution that the five-year drought persists.

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San Joaquin Valley farmers keep drilling, even as groundwater limits loom

Two years after California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill designed to limit groundwater pumping, new wells are going in faster and deeper than ever in the San Joaquin Valley farm belt. Farmers say they have no choice given cuts in surface water deliveries. But the drilling has exacted a substantial human cost in some of California’s poorest rural communities.
Ryan Sabalow The Sacramento Bee
San Joaquin Valley farmers keep drilling, even as groundwater limits loom 3:49

San Joaquin Valley farmers keep drilling, even as groundwater limits loom

The Spirit of Sacramento capsized near Bethel Island 1:47

The Spirit of Sacramento capsized near Bethel Island

Will a plankton bloom help bring Delta smelt back from the brink? 1:13

Will a plankton bloom help bring Delta smelt back from the brink?

Slimy algae blooms foul California's waterways 1:11

Slimy algae blooms foul California's waterways