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Published March 25, 2010, 08:09 AM

Analyst urges new plan to track California groundwater

FRESNO, Calif. — A state report says California should start tracking how much water is being pumped from underground aquifers to get a better measurement of what some officials consider unreliable supplies.

FRESNO, Calif. — A state report says California should start tracking how much water is being pumped from underground aquifers to get a better measurement of what some officials consider unreliable supplies.

Each year, California gets at least one-third of its water supply from the ground. A bill passed by the Legislature last year set up a largely voluntary program to monitor groundwater basins, but the Legislative Analyst’s Office recommends measuring how much is being pumped out as well.

Both cities and farmers have resisted attempts at groundwater permitting because they consider it a freely available resource.

The legislative analyst says groundwater is a shared public asset and suggests California follow models in other Western states that require active measurement of groundwater pumping.

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