The Palmdale City Council has agreed to contribute $40,000 toward a study of Antelope Valley water use and ground water resources, spurred by the appearance of giant cracks in the desert.
By a 4-to-1 vote, the council Thursday night became the first of six agencies to officially pledge funding for its portion of the first year's expenses of a proposed study by the U.S. Geological Survey.
The action follows the discovery last year of a crack in the ground--a half-mile long, up to 12 feet deep and 4 feet wide--at Edwards Air Force Base, and many cracks in northwestern Lancaster, 12 to 15 feet deep, up to 1 foot wide and 700 feet long.
Scientists believe that sinking ground-water levels caused by agricultural and municipal wells in the Antelope Valley are causing the ground in some areas to subside and crack.
The Los Angeles County Waterworks, the city of Lancaster, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Antelope Valley-East Kern Kern Water Agency and the Rosamond Community Services District may also help pay for a minimum two-year study costing $545,000.