A Field poll released Feb. 26 reported that 94% of Californians think the drought is a serious problem. It’s too bad that belief doesn’t extend to the Fresno County Planning Commission, which voted 5 to 1 that same day to approve yet another deep pit gravel mine in the Sanger river bottom.
The vote came after they received testimony that the mine’s abandoned pits will evaporate 156,000 gallons of drinking water per day — forever. None of the reclamation plans for the proliferation of mines along the Kings River have any provisions for ameliorating the groundwater losses from these steep-sided pits, which they euphemistically refer to as “open space.”
While every resident in the Valley will have to contend with higher water rates and even rationing, the large landowners who are converting their farmland to wasteland will not be held accountable for this enormous waste.
All of this for the benefit of developers who want cheap gravel so they can pave over even more farmland. Tell the Fresno County Board of Supervisors to get serious about safeguarding our water supplies, and not approve any more open-pit mines that intrude on groundwater.