In his Jan. 10 Bee article, “Farmers and water districts hope storm runoff can help replenish underground supplies,” Robert Rodriguez reported on the only viable, long-term drought solution, recharging the San Joaquin valley aquifer. The San Joaquin Valley aquifer has the capacity of thousands of dams. Farmers and others have been pumping water out of the aquifer like there is literally no tomorrow.
Over 50 years of this abuse have drained it to unsustainable levels and central California will lose this treasured resource forever if it is not properly managed and maintained now. We need to invest in the infrastructure to pump water down into the aquifer whenever it becomes available, not more dams which are only very expensive, short-term solutions and depend on climate change-endangered mountain snow packs.
Aquifer storage and recovery is an established water-management strategy that has been successfully implemented in Europe, the Middle East and Australia. We need to carefully monitor how much water is in our aquifer, who is pumping it out and put in place the needed infrastructure and controls to conserve and manage this resource before it is ruined forever by shortsighted businessmen-farmers.
Stan Perkins, Clovis