Stop Exacerbating Drought by Drilling for Water


Target: Jerry Brown, Governor of California

Goal: Stop farmers from pumping water from the ground, causing water shortages and the sinking of land

In this time of intense drought, farmers in California have turned to pumping water from deep beneath the ground. Not only does this impair the flow of surface streams, it is gradually sinking California. Agricultural workers have become extremely desperate, pumping water at an increased rate that could severely endanger the state in coming years.

News outlet NBC first reported this incident, highlighting California’s unhealthy dependence on this search for natural resources. According to hydrologist Michelle Sneed, heavy groundwater pumping is causing certain parts of the state to sink at one foot per year. Equally troubling is the fact that this practice halts the flow of surface water by reducing the amount of water upstream. The reduced water upsets the natural gravitational balance needed for streams to function, even hindering available water from being delivered.

Seeking water in this manner only exacerbates the existing shortage and increases dependence on pumping. Like oil, groundwater is a finite resource of which pursuit will only end catastrophically when we inevitably reach the last traces of the supply. Since California does not have official regulations governing water exploration and conservation, the outcome could be terribly grave. In order to keep their businesses afloat, farmers are being pressured to drill despite knowing full-well the permanent effects of this practice.

California legislation has implemented water cutbacks which will affect millions of citizens when instead they should be focusing on the long-term effects of water drilling. Sign the petition below to demand that state officials stop groundwater pumping and focus on solutions which don’t further endanger the environment.


Dear Governor Brown,

During this time of drought, Californians have resorted to dangerous water drilling methods. In desperation, farmers and water suppliers are pumping water from the ground, which is sinking California and exacerbating current drought conditions. This shortsighted solution not only further damages the environment; it makes us heavily dependent on a finite resource.

Hydrologist Michelle Sneed has highlighted the catastrophic effect drilling has on the land, stating that certain areas in the state have begun to sink at a rate of one foot per year. In addition, pumping decreases the amount of water in higher parts of surface streams, upsetting the delicate gravitational balance needed for them to flow. Though legislators have implemented water cutbacks as a means of conservation, the real issue is still not being addressed.

We cannot hope to curb drought by drilling for water and inadvertently causing similar effects. For this reason, I urge you to stop this dangerous practice and focus on solving water shortage in a safer way. Sucking the remaining moisture from the land will only complicate the very problem you are trying to solve.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Arivumathi via Wikimedia Commons

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131 Signatures

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