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Updated Report Shows Continued Groundwater Depletion

Amy Quinton / Capital Public Radio

Buckle in Delta-Mendota Canal. A result of subsidence from groundwater withdrawals.

Amy Quinton / Capital Public Radio

The California Department of Water Resources report shows this year through September more than 350 new water wells were drilled in Fresno and Tulare counties, the most in the state.

Lauren Bisnett with DWR says continued depletion of some basins will lead the ground to sink, in a phenomenon known as subsidence.

“That’s particularly in areas we’ve identified such as the southern San Joaquin, Antelope, Coachella and some of the western Sacramento valleys." says Bisnett. "So that’s something along with maintaining groundwater basins that needs to be taken into consideration.

Bisnett says some subsidence is irreversible.

The report also found 34 of 127 high and medium priority groundwater basins - which are considered the most at-risk - are not adequately monitored.