“This is going to be an immediate obligation, not one that they can wait 20 years.”
Sep 21, 2018
Most people are aware by now of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). It will, over time, restrict farmer's use of groundwater depending on the basin and ability to recharge the underground aquifer. There is a time frame to bring farmers into compliance with the law gradually over time. This is going to be a huge blow to the farm community who will see a lot of land fallowed. But, environmentalists, not satisfied with a one-pronged approach, have made sure to cover all their bases in this war on water, and while the SGMA is making its way through the California bureaucracy they are also pursuing the matter through the courts.
The article below explains how "a landmark court ruling could force many farmers to curb their groundwater consumption much sooner than that, landing like a bombshell in the contentious world of California water." “This is going to be an immediate obligation, not one that they can wait 20 years,” said James Wheaton of the Environmental Law Foundation, an Oakland nonprofit that won the lawsuit. “They’re going to have to act now.”
The article goes on the say, "In its lawsuit, the Environmental Law Foundation cited a legal doctrine known as the public trust. It’s a powerful doctrine...and says the state and county governments have the duty to protect public resources such as water...Now the concept is being applied to groundwater pumping and the impact it has on the state’s rivers. If you pump out the groundwater and deplete the river, you potentially violate the public trust.”
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