California farmers drilling wells as groundwater limits loom

Published: Sep. 25, 2016 at 12:03 PM PDT
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Farmers in central California are drilling more and deeper wells than ever before to pump water for their fruit orchards and sprawling fields following government imposed limits on surface water.

The Sacramento Bee reports Sunday that two years after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill designed to limit groundwater pumping, new wells are going in faster and deeper than ever.

An analysis by the newspaper found farmers dug about 2,500 wells in the San Joaquin Valley last year alone, the highest number on record. That was five times the annual average for the previous 30 years.

Farmers say they will continue drilling and pumping because it's the only way to keep their farms afloat.

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