The June 18 front-page article about the wine-grape growers’ concerns over the declining levels of the groundwater basin caught my eye. The concern is that the demand for water is outpacing the aquifer’s supply. There is another issue on the horizon that is a threat to the aquifer’s supply. That is a process known as fracking.
The Monterey Shale starts in Monterey County and continues below San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. That Shale contains vast amounts of oil. In order to extract that oil, the method of fracking sends billions of gallons per well to force the oil up out of the shale. If we are concerned already about having enough water to sustain North County residents and the wine industry we must be equally alarmed at the growth of fracking in the county.
The state legislature is beginning to be aware of concerns about this process and is beginning to consider legislation that would regulate the oil industry. However, regulation may not be enough. We may have to choose between wine and oil, and say no to the oil industry.