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California Drought: Farms Now Digging Deeper For Water

Publication Date: 
March 30, 2014
Source: 
San Jose mercury News
Author: 
Lisa M. Krieger

Professor Barton "Buzz" Thompson is cited by the San Jose Mercury News' Lisa M. Krieger for his thoughts on how California has failed to regulate how much groundwater is pumped, unlike other states. 

So wet was the San Joaquin Valley of Steve Arthur's childhood that a single 240-foot-deep well could quench the thirst of an arid farm.

Now his massive rig, bucking and belching, must drill 1,200 feet deep in search of ever-more-elusive water to sustain this wheat farm north of Bakersfield. As he drills, his phone rings with three new appeals for help.

...

However, little is being done to control it. States such as Kansas and even Texas prevent unlimited pumping of groundwater. But California has failed to regulate how much groundwater is pumped, leaving it up to the courts to settle disputes over excessive use, according to Barton H. "Buzz" Thompson Jr., professor of natural resources law at Stanford University.