Environment & Science

California Gov. Jerry Brown makes water well logs public

Drillers are bringing in large rigs like this one from all over the west, to drill deeper wells in the quest for water.
Drillers are bringing in large rigs like this one from all over the west, to drill deeper wells in the quest for water.
Sasha Khokha/KQED

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation making public the logs that water well drillers file with the state.

The Sacramento Bee reported Friday that given privacy concerns, the public may not get precise locations of wells that pull water from the ground for irrigation and drinking. The state keeps about 800,000 logs.

Drilling companies have to file the reports when they create new wells.

Water scientists and other advocates have long pushed to make the reports public, since the logs provide information about the depth and quality of a water supply. They say the reports are more important now that groundwater is increasingly being tapped to make up for shriveling reservoirs as the state enters its fourth year of drought.

The legislation calls for shielding personal information.