When water levels in area wells dropped, Morris Clegg stopped irrigating his corn crop so three neighboring families would be able to pump enough drinking water.
"I decided the corn wasn't as important as my neighbors, so I stopped pumping."Clegg's generosity cost him his crop, worth about $4,000. Water levels also dropped in wells serving his other fields and his stock.
"I grow alfalfa, hay and other grains. I couldn't get enough water, so I got about two-thirds the harvests I would get in a normal year. I also had to buy pipes to get enough water out of the well to keep the stock alive."
Clegg lives in the Vineyard area, partly within Orem and partly unincorporated. As a farmer, Clegg is used to nature's good years and bad years. But Clegg doesn't blame nature for the water problem - he blames overpumping of groundwater by Utah County's larger cities.
"I understand cities need water, too. People have to have a drink. I just don't think anyone deserves a double share."
Groundwater must move around sand, boulders and gravel to flow from one area to another. Large municipal wells can drain the surrounding cone-shaped area, since they may remove water faster than it can be replaced. If smaller wells are in or near the dry, cone-shaped area, they too will suffer declining water levels or will dry up completely.