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California's Groundwater Dilemma

Dennis Hall, left, and Micha Berry with the city of Fresno's water division, unscrew the motor that sits on top of a groundwater well to repair the well's pump, in Fresno, Calif.,  Aug. 29, 2013. Fresno has for decades relied exclusively on groundwater as a drinking water source for its residents. It's one of many water users throughout central California that have seen a drop in their water table, causing some wells to bring up sand, slow to a trickle or go completely dry. (Gosia Wozniacka/AP)
Dennis Hall, left, and Micha Berry with the city of Fresno's water division, unscrew the motor that sits on top of a groundwater well to repair the well's pump, in Fresno, Calif., Aug. 29, 2013. Fresno has for decades relied exclusively on groundwater as a drinking water source for its residents. It's one of many water users throughout central California that have seen a drop in their water table, causing some wells to bring up sand, slow to a trickle or go completely dry. (Gosia Wozniacka/AP)

A California bill regulating the use of the state’s ground water from the natural aquifers is awaiting the approval of Governor Jerry Brown. In the midst of the most severe drought the U.S. has seen in years, the drilling of wells has increased, depleting the natural resource.

Experts say groundwater was never meant to be used for primary source of consumption, but as surface water dries, farmers and municipalities are going underground.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Thomas Harter, a professor and groundwater specialist in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources at the University of California, Davis, about the use of groundwater in California and why it should not be used as a primary source.

Guest

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