In Lindin, California, farmers are struggling to find balance with the urban expansion that is threatening the once-ample supply of groundwater and surface water divisions from the nearby Stanislaus River.

According to San Joaquin Valley Record, experts worry that the state’s over-reliance on groundwater will threaten farmers’ investments. Groundwater is supposed to be a kind of savings account for drought years, but until recently California was the only western state not to regulate its use.

“We’re acting like the super rich who have so much money they don’t need to balance their checkbook,” Richard Howitt, a University of California, Davis economist, said in the article.

To offset, farmers are looking to plant permanent crops such as wine grapes that can yield more than $20,000 per acre in value, more than four times the value of wheat acreage.

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