Report: Groundwater pumping in California has land sinking

20 Aug 2015   Water

Vast areas of California’s Central Valley are sinking faster than in the past as massive amounts of groundwater are pumped during the historic drought, state officials said Wednesday, citing new research by NASA scientists. The data shows the ground is sinking nearly two inches each month in some places, putting roads, bridges and vital canals that deliver water throughout the state at growing risk of damage. Sinking land has occurred for decades in California because of excessive groundwater pumping during dry years, but the new data shows it is happening faster as the state endures its fourth year of drought. “We are pumping at historic levels,” said Mark Cowin, head of the California Department of Water Resources. He added that groundwater levels are dropping to record levels – up to 100 feet lower than previously recorded. Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory […]

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