Thirsty vineyard, Big Ag test landmark aquifer law

From E&E News:

When Roberta Jaffe and her husband planted their small vineyard, one factor trumped all others: groundwater.

Knowing that this isolated valley in south-central California relies on a depleted aquifer, the couple “dry farmed” their Condor’s Hope Ranch, using 5 percent or less of the water required by a conventional vineyard.

“For us, it is very much about farming in a way that is harmonious with the environment,” Jaffe said. “This is what we see as what this environment can handle.”

So Jaffe was alarmed when Harvard University’s endowment fund installed an 850-acre conventional vineyard just down the road in 2014 — and drilled 14 wells.

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