California wells run dry as drought depletes groundwater

San Luis Reservoir

FAIRMEAD, Calif. (AP) — As California’s drought deepens, more rural communities are running out of water.

Heavy pumping is depleting groundwater supplies that aren’t being replenished by rain and snowmelt.

More than 1,200 wells have run dry this year statewide, a nearly 50% increase over the same period last year, according to state data.

The groundwater crisis is most severe in the San Joaquin Valley, the country’s most productive agricultural region, where farmers rely more heavily on groundwater because they aren’t getting much water from the state’s depleted reservoirs.

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