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California Farmers Struggle With Drought Losses and Costs of New Wells

A recent article from NPR talked about the new boom in water drilling in drought-ravaged California, with special attention on the costs the state’s many farmers have had to shoulder in order to save their farms and businesses. As the dry weather drags on, farmers are increasingly desperate to get the water they need for their suffering crops, and many have decided that drilling for a new well may be the only option they have left.

However, in the rush to add new wells and react to drought losses, farmers are running into a number of serious problems, such as:

  • Long waiting lists from overwhelmed drilling companies, with one driller saying that new clients could look forward to an eight-month wait
  • Farmers attempting to buy out spots on the waiting list, sometimes for thousands of dollars on top of what they plan to spend on the drilling project 
  • Extreme expenses that include the cost of drilling for wells in difficult soils and the loss of farmland
  • The real threat of aquifer depletion from severe increase in demand for groundwater, which could be accompanied by legislation that places restrictions on groundwater use
  • A threat of earthquake activity from the fault stress caused by increased groundwater pumping

At the time of this report, every part of California was reporting serious drought conditions, and experts had estimated that some Central Valley water tables were already 100 feet lower than the lowest measurements in the past.

Is your farm ready to weather a drought? Our team can help you make sure your current agricultural insurance coverage fits the needs of your business and is sufficient to safeguard your investment. For more information about drought conditions and negotiating agricultural insurance claims, request your free copy of our book, Drought: Agricultural Effects, Insurance Claims, and Beyond.

Read the article from NPR here.

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