Brown passed a triage of bills in 2014, collectively known as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.
The law requires local agencies to begin monitoring and regulating groundwater so that withdrawals don’t exceed inflow. But this stabilization will not happen anytime soon, since the law sets a sustainability deadline of 2040.
Many farmers are uneasy because it will reduce water supply and force land out of production. Some experts say farmers will have to fallow between 500,000 and a million acres. These changes are likely to hit hardest in the San Joaquin Valley.
Farmers have ideas to cope: One is to pay some not to grow anything and leave their water allocation for someone else. Another is to develop water markets to buy and sell water.