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New Orchards Drying Up Wells


California currently has no restrictions on how much well water a property owner can draw. New orchards in eastern Stanislaus County are springing up around Oakdale and they need a lot of water.


1014 orchard rotator

Neighbors like Neil Hudson say all the new wells are lowering the groundwater level.

"Putting in the large volume wells is going to reduce the aquifer by a lot, we don't know the numbers, there's no way you can calculate the numbers." - Neil Hudson

Hudson says some people are forced to drill their wells deeper to find water. For some whose wells maybe 50 years old or more, it's a very expensive operation.

"So they have to drill a new well which costs around $20,000," Hudson says.

1014 orchard well primary

Stanislaus County supervisors expect to establish new groundwater rules by the end of this month.

Rich Ibarra

Contributing Central Valley/Foothills Reporter

As the Central Valley correspondent, Rich Ibarra covers San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced counties, along with the foothill areas including Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. He covers politics, the economy and issues affecting the region.   Read Full Bio 

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