Thursday, December 3, 2009

Nice neighbors

This article in the Hanford Sentinel was interesting. Imagine your neighbor sells his surface water rights for millions, because they plan to make up for it by overdrafting the aquifer under your property. Phillip Erro is angry, and has a proposed solution. I don't think this is the ultimate solution, but it is a first step towards the agriculture community recognizing that some regulation of groundwater is necessary.

Fresno County farmer Philip Erro is circulating a petition asking Kings County supervisors to pass an ordinance prohibiting anybody from pumping ground water after selling their surface water rights.The target of Erro's petition is no mystery: Sandridge Partners, a Bay Area business partnership with 50,000 acres of farmland in western Kings County. Earlier this year, Sandridge sold $73 million in state water rights to the Mojave Water Agency in San Bernardino County...

Sandridge plans to pool ground water supplies from its land and adjacent property to make up for the 14,000-acre-foot allotment it sold to the Mojave Water Agency, according to Sandridge partner John Vidovich.Erro, dependent on those ground water supplies, wants Kings County to make it harder for somebody else to do what Sandridge did."Without that ordinance, there's no penalty for the landowner to sell surface rights ... and deplete the ground water, too," Erro said.

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