Amid well-drilling and pumping, calls grow for stronger California water regulation
In 2014, California adopted a landmark law aimed at combating excessive groundwater pumping, especially in farming areas of the San Joaquin Valley. More than eight years later, many local agencies are still working on long-term groundwater sustainability plans. Water levels have continued to decline, and in many areas household wells have continued to dry up — including some that have failed since torrential rains soaked the state in January. Now, with more wells at risk of running dry, activists are urging the state to intervene in five Central Valley areas where they say plans are inadequate to combat chronic overpumping.