They are breaking public property.

All this pumping depletes ancient aquifers deep underground, causing the earth to compact and sink. One side effect of this environmental change is that long, heavy pieces of infrastructure like roads and bridges are sinking as well and suffering damage as the earth buckles around it.

Reveal reported that two bridges in Fresno County “have sunk so much that they are nearly underwater and will cost millions to rebuild”.

If a group of farmers pointed a tractor at a bridge abutment, started it running and let the foreseeable collision break the bridge, they would be vandals and society would respond with criminal charges.

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