Calif’s Farming Capital Sinking Due to Groundwater Pumping

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The fastest sinking city in America is the town of Corcoran, California, home to about 20 000 people and known as “the farming capital” of the state.

Over the last 14 years, some parts of the town have sunk as much as 11 and a half feet, according to KGET News.

Generally, California’s Central Valley has been sinking for many years.  “Agriculture sinking” is blamed for the trend.  It  happens when farmers are unable to get enough surface water for their crops, so they are forced to pump groundwater.  When aquifers — or underground water reservoirs — are depleted too much, the land sinks.

Image Attribution: Chris English, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia CommonsOpens in a new tab.


Since 1995, Deborah has owned and operated LegalTech LLC with a focus on water rights. Before moving to Arizona in 1986, she worked as a quality control analyst for Honeywell and in commercial real estate, both in Texas. She learned about Arizona's water rights from the late and great attorney Michael Brophy of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite. Her side interests are writing (and reading), Wordpress programming and much more.

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June 16, 2021 5:57 am
That’s a difficult position to be in of not wanting to complain to the agricultural companies, because they are supplying the jobs in Corcoran and more than 30% of residents live in poverty. Something needs to be done. The pumping of water causing the sinking, coupled with drought is not a good combination. We’ve seen the devastating floods in Houston with its subsidence issues.

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