FRESNO (CBS SF) — California’s Central Valley is sinking at a rate never before seen during the state’s historic drought, and farmers are shouldering some of the blame for the damage that sinking is causing.
Steve Arthur of Arthur & Orum Well Drilling is drilling wells as fast as his rigs will let him.
“It’s unbelievable. We can’t keep up with the demand,” Arthur told KPIX 5.
The waiting list for wells during the state’s drought keeps growing.
“Customers will actually pay people from out of state double or triple the price of a regular well just to get the well,” Arthur said.
From a tiny shack near Firebaugh in Fresno County, the USGS tracks how fast the groundwater is dropping. They are also watching the Central Valley sink, right along with the groundwater.
Buckling water canals are just one sign of the damage.
“Roads, railways, canals, pipelines. Any kind of infrastructure like that isn’t flexible will break, and that is why people essentially care about subsidence for the most part is because it is expensive,” Michelle Sneed of the USGS said.