Aquifers Running Dry in California

The drought in California has been making the national news a lot lately. Another wonderful article from the Washington Post has highlighted the increasing alarm among resource managers and farmers in the golden state. With more than 60% of the state in a “exceptional” drought (the highest rating, above “severe”), sources of water are quickly running out. With river water significantly down, many farmers are turning to wells to replace the loss. A recent economic study out of UC Davis projects a doubling in the amount of groundwater that will be withdrawn from the state’s aquifers in the next year. 

However, this practice is not sustainable; aquifers can take decades or longer to refill. Aquifer depletion is so significant in California that in many areas, the ground has subsided! Without a break in the drought, the future of agriculture in California is looking very grim.

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