The drought in California has led to Gov. Jerry Brown signing legislation on Tuesday that could create limitations to how much water both commercial and residential users can get from underground aquifers. The laws will come into effect in January, Angela Hart reported for The Press Democrat.

The laws will force local governments to make sure use of groundwater basins is sustainable, which will protect water reserves for the future. Brown says the legislation is necessary to keep the groundwater reserves in California from going dry.

“Wells are going dry. People are quarreling over whose water it is underground. We have a system deficit — water is being overdrafted without having the chance to be restored or renewed,” director of the California Water Foundation Lester Snow said. “The drought has created an opportunity to discuss groundwater management when previously no one wanted to talk about it.”

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