I often think California is a pretty crazy place. Many of us live on dangerous fault lines, the technology industry has driven house prices higher than all believable bounds, inequality is more pronounced than almost anywhere on earth, and yet, many of us obsess over our dietary choices and appearance more than anything.
Not judging. I mean, we all look fantastic. And maybe we just prefer to attend to the few things we can control. But fortunately, thanks to Clean Water Action and our allies, there is a chance you can actually have a stake in avoiding another massive crisis that’s been brewing on the down-low here in California, for years now. I’m talking about groundwater…
Sign up here, and reserve your spot on our upcoming groundwater webinar to watch the full film. We’ll send you details in the next two weeks.
Our Water Program Manager, Jennifer Clary, is pretty wonky. She spends so much time in the legislature and forming partnerships with our allies to get ground-breaking legislation passed that she sometimes moves too fast for even those who work alongside her to keep up with what she’s doing.
I’ve been here at Clean Water Action’s office here in California since February and only recently did I grasp the importance of Jennifer’s work to pass the 2015 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). I should have asked more questions when I started. But it was only when I went down to rural California to make a film about the importance of SGMA that I realized how important this process could be.
Groundwater has been being over-pumped in California for decades now. In the drought, that means our groundwater levels have been sinking, in some cases by hundreds of feet each year. And with so many straws going into the milkshake, as it were, there’s a real risk that in a few years time, the whole state could simply dry out.
An economy based largely on agriculture simply can’t afford that, so it’s a good job that SGMA is planning to bring us to sustainability by 2040. Thing is, we can’t do that on our own. We need help, and for communities and the public to engage on this issue. There are vested interests that would rather protect their right to continue over-pumping, and making profits, for example, from what they view as a bottomless resource.
Poor rural communities, sometimes with just a single well, are often the worst affected by groundwater over-pumping. So we’ll be premiering our six-minute film about the communities of Alpaugh and Allensworth, in the Central Valley, on our upcoming webinar on the subject. We’ll have folks from those communities on the call, as well as experts on groundwater, the drought, and the path to sustainability. And Clean Water Action members, and the public, too.
Sign up here, and reserve your spot on the webinar. We’ll send you details in the next two weeks.
—By Matt Davis, California Communications Director at Clean Water Action