Thursday, May 14, 2015

California landowners Say the Ground Water is Theirs

CNBC Recent article on water in California Most landowners in California say they own the water underneath their land, while others argue groundwater is a common resource. Now with the drought in California, there's a topic many private landowners remain steadfast about: Water well metering. Without a drought the water from rivers lakes and reservoirs is ample enough to supply roughly two thirds of state water each year. Now farmers and drillers are digging deeper for ground water. According to a CNBC article groundwater can account for half of total state water consumed in drought years. This is usually not an issue, but now with a drought groundwater is everyone’s issue. In rural areas in outside Bakersfield, Tulare County ground water is the main water for residents. The Sustainable Ground water Act requires local districts to measure and report details on regional groundwater amounts. It was signed by Gov. Brown last year. The laws guidelines implies rural communities will have to monitor ground water removal which means metering. The argument is that driller may drill 1000 feet below their land but they are also tapping the neighbor’s water peripherally. It is further argued that the landowners say I own the water beneath my land and that is it, and it is not illegal to drill for water. The State and regulator want to regulate with water acquisition and they say that land is sinking because water is being pull out from other areas. The landowners say if it is my water why do I have to report what I take from my land? The State says they need to regulate how much water is being withdrawn. If there wasn’t a drought then likely there would not be an argument. CNBC’s article further reports that while the groundwater law is a place to start, the regulation includes a timeline for implementation, with a target date of 2040. End article. This will most likely affect the rural areas of Antelope Valley as Los Angeles County has been in a law suit with land owners in the Valley regarding the water basin below. This may increase the value of city land where water will be furnished by city services. It more affects farmers and rural residents in Antelope Valley, but as Lancaster and Palmdale are in the High Desert water rationing will likely be a way of life.

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