The days of abundant water are a distant memory for farmers in California. For the Central Valley, the wells are about to run dry.
California’s Central Valley is now reportedly sinking at a rate never seen during the state’s historic drought, and farmers are shouldering part of the blame as they continue to pump the land dry in an effort to keep their businesses afloat.
Steve Arthur of Arthur & Orum Well Drilling is drilling wells as fast as his rig will allow him. The demand has been insatiable, and waiting lists as long as 18 months have developed during the state’s drought. Some farmers are willing to pay two or three times the price of a regular well by contracting people out of state. This clearly illustrates the desperation of the current water situation as farmers become willing to do almost anything to tap into an available water supply.
In fact, farmers are paying $300 per foot to reach groundwater, and some wells are going 3,000 feet down as all of the good water is being used up faster than Mother Nature can replenish it.
This exploitation of the California water supplies has caused a significant dropping of their landmass, which threatens expensive infrastructure that can easily break in the event of land collapse, such as roads, railways, canals and pipelines. Fingers are being pointed at farmers, particularly in the nut industry, as they struggle to feed their crops and sustain their businesses.