New protections for California's aquifers are reshaping the state's Central Valley

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Thursday, October 7, 2021

California's agricultural empire is facing a shakeup, as a state law comes into effect that will limit many farmers' access to water.

The limits on that water use will force many farmers to scrap practices that relied on unfettered access to that shrinking underground reservoir. "It's unsustainable to continue over-drafting the aquifer the way we are," said Rick Cosyns, a farmer near the town of Madera, just north of Fresno. "It's just a race to the bottom." (Cosyns was interviewed in August. He died unexpectedly on Sept. 7.)

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