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Tuesday, August 17, 2021

From the data on his devices, Angell calculated that the underground water table in Madera County, one of the most over-tapped in the West, had dropped an astounding 60 feet over late spring and summer. So many agricultural pumps were dipping their bowls into the same depleted resource that the aquifer was collapsing, a descent he had never witnessed. “I’m 62 years old. I’ve been doing this more than half my life, and I’ve never seen this. Not even close,” he said. “This is all brand new, and it’s shaken everything I believe in.” “Drought on top of drought. Climate change on top of drought. And our response is always the same,” Angell said. “Plant more almonds and pistachios. Plant more housing tracts on farmland. But the river isn’t the same. The aquifer isn’t the same.”

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