Another Approach to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
“SGMA is a really tough conversation,” said Franz “If we're honest with ourselves, the farming community in some places has put too many straws in the ground. We can't extract tremendous more water out of the ground than what is being recharged over time,” he said.
“The aquifers keep dropping. In some areas, the ground is actually sinking, which is subsidence, and that area cannot be recharged once the ground table drops,” Franz explained.
Franz definitely realizes how we got to SGMA. “Now we need to dial it back in a measured way in order to protect our farming community in the best way possible,” he said. “I believe that instead of restricting pumping so much, I would prefer to see us look for ways to maximize recharge and maximize ways to rebuild the aquifer with more supply instead of cutting everyone back and running people out of business.”
“But to be clear, there are some areas where the overdraft is so out of whack with the amount of recharge, it's clear,” said Franz. “ That's why the estimate of a half a million acres of land will come out of production, which is based on looking at a water budget of what's available, and what's being extracted.”