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California’s Water Struggle

By Celina Yin

When you pick up something grown from California, like a carrot, imagine all the water used to keep the crops healthy. Right now, a drought is going on. California farmers are extracting water from the ground to keep their plants green.

Farmers will probably extract six to seven million more acres of water than usual according to water expert at the University of California, Merced, Josue Medellin-Azuara. "It's a huge amount,"says Steve Jackson, a farmer in Visalia who helps to manage 40,000 acres of almonds and other crops. "I'd say 90 to 95 percent of our crop demands this year are going to be met by groundwater."

Farmers get the water from aquifers which are lakes or bodies of water underground. Farmers use special pumps to get the water from aquifers. The idea came from a drought in 2014-2015. Farmer Kathy Briano said that the problems were obvious in the drought of 2014-2015. Farmers were taking more water than the Earth could put back. "Everybody was pumping," she says. "You had to pump all that you needed, and you just brought that groundwater down to nothing." In 2014, California approved the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, whose goal was to keep groundwater in balance by 2040.

California farmers are struggling to keep their crops healthy while also keeping the Earth water in balance.

SOURCE: https://www.npr.org/2021/07/22/1019483661/without-enough-water-to-go-around-farmers-in-california-are-exhausting-aquifers

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