The Natural Resources Defense Council's Barry Nelson argues that the state needs to start addressing this problem before it becomes completely unmanageable.
"California is in a league by itself – and not a good one – when it comes to groundwater management. Contrary to rumor – not even Texas has such a Wild West approach to groundwater management. In many parts of the state, groundwater pumping is unregulated, unmanaged, and unmonitored.
Imagine, if you will, that 10,000 Californians have your ATM card and PIN number. Imagine how hard it would be to maintain a healthy balance in your bank account with such unmanaged withdrawals. Now imagine that these withdrawals aren't even reported in your monthly account statement. That's the groundwater situation in parts of the Central Valley. Every other state has taken more steps than California has taken to manage this critical, common resource."