Cuyama Groundwater Study Presented to Supes

Water-intensive crops grown in the Cuyama Valley are depleting the region’s groundwater supplies, and the associated pumping could be causing the ground to sink, according to a study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and the county’s Public Works department and presented to county supervisors this week. The study analyzed water use between 1949 and 2010 and made future projections, but how the county will use the information hinges on how two bills in the State Legislature shake out; SB 1168 and AB 1739 would force regional jurisdictions to play a bigger role in groundwater-pumping oversight. Adjudicating the water in the valley could be an option, as could mandating the farming of less water-reliant crops.

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