Recently The Bee ran a story about major ground subsidence on the west side of the Valley, just a few miles from our homes here in Fresno. It was caused by farmers pumping water out of the underground aquifer. It stopped when they got access to river water.
Fresno gets most of its water by pumping it out of the aquifer, not from river water. The Bee's map showed that Fresno has suffered up to a foot of ground subsidence. When I was in Craig Poole's Geology I course at Fresno City in 2002, he told us that the water table under Fresno has dropped 40 feet since the 1940s and urged us not to waste water, even when brushing our teeth.
Fresno's 2025 plan contemplates doubling Fresno's population, to 1 million people. The utility hikes will pay for $700 million of new capital projects, much of it to enable that growth.
Fresno's leaders should tell us why doubling our population won't produce so much overpumping of our aquifer that we'll get major ground subsidence here. If they can't, they should commission a study by independent geologists to determine if it will.
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