The rate of drilling or deepening residential and agricultural wells in Madera County has more than doubled in the last 12 months, likely as a result of the worst drought in recent history, according to the Madera County Environmental Health Department.
Residential well drilling has increased by 181 percent since last year, as homeowners struggle to keep their water flowing. Agricultural well drilling permits are up 64 percent, records show.
Well drilling logs, which contain the depth, location and flow amounts of wells, are confidential, but are submitted to the county, according to Jill Yaeger, the county’s environmental health director, whose office issues well-drilling permits.
The information is not available to the public, she said, because of a state law passed in the 1950s...