Friday March 3, 2023


State water officials on Thursday rejected six local groundwater plans for the San Joaquin Valley, where basins providing drinking and irrigation water are severely depleted from decades of intensive pumping by farms.

The plans — submitted by local agencies tasked with the job of protecting underground supplies — outline strategies for complying with a state law requiring sustainable groundwater management. 

The Department of Water Resources deemed the plans inadequate because they “did not appropriately address deficiencies” in how water suppliers aimed to limit overdraft, land subsidence and impacts to drinking water wells.

Groundwater depletion has hurt the San Joaquin Valley’s small, rural communities, home to many low-income Latino residents who have been forced to live on bottled water and drill deeper wells, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

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