“The water is so short this year that it’s driven the price of water up,” says Frank Zonneveld, who grows nuts, hay, corn and tomatoes in Kings and Fresno counties
So since he can no longer rely on surface deliveries from watersheds or the federal Central Valley Project, he’s turning to underground wells instead.
“And I don’t know where all my wells are sitting at. As the water table’s drawn down more heavily, some of my pumps could be sitting shallower, and they could be out of reach of water. And then I’ll have to – if the well’s deep enough, I’ll have to lower the pumps. If not, I’ll have to dig new wells.”
But well drillers’ waiting lists are long – several months for Zonneveld, more than a year for another farmer.
And then, there are the farmers who grow crops in the Westlands area – the western part of Kern and Kings counties. They’re the ones who rely solely on the State Water Project – and on Friday, they learned they’ll get no water at all this year. They don’t have wells to turn to, meaning they’ll have to choose which parts of their land to leave empty.
At least seven large holes have appeared on the Sacramento State campus in recent days. The construction is part of a new special runoff filtration system.
The California Department of Water Resources released a video this week and suggested that the state faces a scary future and potential fifth year of drought.
Citrus growers in California's Central Valley say they expect to fallow between 7 and 9 percent of the state's 270,000 acres of citrus trees because of the drought.
The "well above-average" rain of the past three months in California has not brought any improvement to drought conditions in the state.
There's been a significant increase in the number of wildfires this year in California. But the size of the fires has been relatively small.