During the freeze of 2010, Plant City farmers pumped water out of the ground continuously for 11 days to insulate their strawberry crops against the biting cold.
“The massive water withdrawal dropped the level of the aquifer sixty feet in a week and a half,” Gainesville author Cynthia Barnett writes in “Blue Revolution: Unmaking America’s Water Crisis.”
“One hundred and forty sinkholes opened up in communities surrounding the farms. Seven hundred and fifty residential wells dried up. An underground chasm closed Plant City’s Trapell Elementary School….”
Sinkholes are a natural phenomenon in porous, limestone-girded Florida. Even so, the cause-and-effect relationship between dropping groundwater tables and increased sinkhole occurrence is absolutely clear.