Thank you for the article on the Friant-Kern Canal sinking ("A fix is proposed to address sinking land beneath the Friant-Kern Canal," March 11). I am amazed at the calm acceptance of farmers over-pumping ground water during the drought and causing the canal to sink.
The repair numbers provided are in the $150-$400 million range. Canal users have paid a whopping $2 million. Overdrafting is supposed to end once the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act takes effect, but that’s not going to happen until 2040. In that time the ground could sink another 4 feet. Will it cost an additional $400 million to repair the canal in 20 years? Aren’t these the same people who believe in personal responsibility? Didn’t they overdraw water and create this problem?
I agree that farmers are a major economic force. However, it appears the California taxpayer is underwriting their business model. We pay to provide canals and also for repairs when the canals are intentionally damaged. If taxpayers are expected to pay for these repairs, they should receive assurance that overdrafting water will end immediately. This does not include the cost of providing water to California cities where wells have gone dry because of over-pumping. That is additional millions of dollars to provide safe drinking water. There is a moral and legal obligation to share water resources.
Kathy Harlan, Bakersfield