Water situation in Valley troublesome

04/07/2014 9:04 AM

04/09/2014 6:35 AM

Re "Monterey Shale formation traps vast oil reservoir" (Capital & California, April 7): Did I read correctly? Kern County farmers are selling their water rights to oil exploration companies?

Within the last two weeks, I have driven the length of the San Joaquin Valley twice, once on Interstate 5 and once on Highway 99. All along the way, I saw orchards left to die, fallow fields, rivers barely running and signs imploring Congress to do something about the dire water situation.

I heard stories about how the cost of food is going to skyrocket if farmers don't get more water from Northern California. I heard even more stories about how the land in the Valley is rapidly and irreversibly subsiding due to aquifer pumping. What is going on here? Will someone please explain it, if that is even possible in a world where money trumps all else?

-- Kathryn A. Klar, Richmond

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