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Best Best & Krieger LLP Managing Partner Eric Garner was recently quoted in an & The West article regarding growers’ challenges to changing groundwater rules in California. As California navigates another drought, growers in the San Joaquin Valley are going toe to toe with local water agencies attempting to regulate groundwater usage. The article addresses the divide over the attempts to keep groundwater basin levels sustainable by 2040 and the increasingly vocal farmers rejecting the new rules.

“I think part of [the resistance] is that a lot of these folks are multi-generational farm families,” said Eric Garner, a Los Angeles lawyer and veteran of fights over groundwater. “They can’t conceive of not doing it…. To not have the same amount of water is a hard thing to grasp.”

As Eric Garner sees it, “If you look at the risk-reward for someone that gets an allocation they don’t like,” he added, “the cost of an allocation they don’t like is potentially more than a lawsuit….If they change their behavior and their neighbor doesn’t, the cost to the people who change their behavior is unacceptably high. It’s not hopeless. It’s just a very difficult issue.”

To access the full article, “A Simmering Revolt Against Groundwater Cutbacks in California,” visit & The West, a publication by Stanford University.

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