The Madera County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday decided against imposing a moratorium on any new wells in the county.
But the board did urge coming up with a groundwater-regulation proposal. The supervisors directed county planners to come up with regulations after talking to as many county water-user groups as possible, through a joint powers authority still being formed. They said they hoped a way of balancing water use so that the water table would remain stable instead of constantly dropping could be found. But the county would support no moratorium.
A well moratorium has been among suggestions for dealing with the drought. Many property owners whose wells have gone dry say new, deeper wells are sucking the aquifer dry. The moratorium would not have prohibited the deepening of existing wells.
“Personally, I’m not in favor of a flat-out moratorium,” said Supervisor Manuel Nevarez. He said any new county groundwater regulations needed to be “equitable. We should make uniform standards, that no matter who you are, you are entitled only to your portion of the water. That’s something we need to figure out. That’s what needs to be in place.” ...