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Efforts to Protect Groundwater Are Tested by Drought

Balancing the state’s groundwater supplies for a sustainable future may not be easy due to severe drought and ongoing economic challenges facing farmers. “We’ve got the lowest prices and highest production costs and the least-reliable water supply that we’ve had since I’ve been farming,” said Bill Diedrich of Firebaugh, who farms row crops and permanent crops on the west side in Madera and Fresno counties. “We’ve had one or the other but not all three at the same time.”

Did California Learn Anything From the Last Drought? ‘Gambling’ With Water Continues

The governor of California stood in a patch of dry brown grass as he made his proclamation:

“We’re in a new era. The idea of your nice little green grass getting lots of water every day — that’s going to be a thing of the past,” he said. “We’re in a historic drought, and that demands unprecedented action.”

But it wasn’t Gavin Newsom speaking — it was the state’s previous governor, Jerry Brown, and the year was 2015.