Opinion

January 16, 2014

Bob Weimer: Don’t pump too much

It is interesting that our most authoritative body in the county is silent regarding the key economic engine in Merced County: water.

It is interesting that our most authoritative body in the county is silent regarding the key economic engine in Merced County: water.

Unless they live in a bubble, the daily discussion in the county is the drought. Over the last several months, the Sun-Star and others have published articles regarding land subsidence as the result of groundwater overdraft, the potential of extended drought based on historical studies, the action of other counties to implement moratoriums on drilling wells for new development and possible use of water meters for potential allocations.

The latter sounds radical, but consider the consequences of continuing overdrafting our groundwater: an escalated decline in our local economy, irreparable damage to aquifers and the real possibility of hundreds of domestic, irrigation and municipal wells rendered useless. Many can not afford $10,000 plus to drill a new well.

Supervisors need to take an immediate proactive role in groundwater management. Although involved in a long-term groundwater study with various public agencies, the outcome can be predicted. Long-term means years of inaction. The citizens of the county need to request some type of mitigation or the implementation of CEQA for every new well.

Even a wet spring will be only a Band-Aid on a severed artery.

BOB WEIMER

Atwater

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