California’s sinking land threatens vital water canal

In this Aug. 23, 2015, photo, the Los Angeles Aqueduct has reduced water flow near the eastern Sierra town of Olancha, Calif., after the aqueduct was partially dammed upstream of this area this summer. On Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015, because of the ongoing drought, water was again flowing south in greater quantities as workers removed the earthen dam that had diverted runoff to the parched Owens Valley. (AP Photo/Brian Melley)

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — California officials say that land in the Central Valley is sinking so much from over-pumping of groundwater in the drought that they will press for new laws to limit well drilling to slow the damage.

Jeanine Jones of the California Department of Water Resources said Thursday that sinking land threatens to limit up to one-fifth of water deliveries to central and Southern California as part of the state’s vital north-south water project.

NASA satellite images show the land sinking at a troubling pace.

The 444-mile California Aqueduct provides water to 25 million people and nearly one million acres of farmland. Officials say that since 2015, sections of the concrete canal have dropped more than two feet in places.

Farmers relied heavily on groundwater for irrigation during California’s historic drought.

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