Posts Tagged ‘aquifers’

California’s depleted underground aquifers

August 21, 2015

CMy1PeAUkAA1MiLSource: Reveal | Twitter

Hat tip to naked capitalism

This photo shows the huge subsidence of a tract of land in California because of the exhaustion of underground water reservoirs beneath.   It would be interesting to see how much more the land has subsided since this photo was taken.

In the current drought, Californians are increasing their draw on underground aquifers as a substitute for the water they are not getting from rivers fed by melting snow.  This cannot go on forever.

And, as Stein’s Law says, if something cannot go on forever, someday it will stop.

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World’s groundwater reservoirs running dry

July 15, 2015
groundwater

Double click to enlarge.

The following is a NASA press release.

About one third of Earth’s largest groundwater basins are being rapidly depleted by human consumption, despite having little accurate data about how much water remains in them, according to two new studies led by the University of California, Irvine (UCI), using data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites.

This means that significant segments of Earth’s population are consuming groundwater quickly without knowing when it might run out, the researchers conclude.  The findings are published … in Water Resources Research.

“Available physical and chemical measurements are simply insufficient,” said UCI professor and principal investigator Jay Famiglietti, who is also the senior water scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.  “Given how quickly we are consuming the world’s groundwater reserves, we need a coordinated global effort to determine how much is left.”

The studies are the first to comprehensively characterize global groundwater losses with data from space, using readings generated by NASA’s twin GRACE satellites.  GRACE measures dips and bumps in Earth’s gravity, which are affected by the mass of water. In the first paper, researchers found that 13 of the planet’s 37 largest aquifers studied between 2003 and 2013 were being depleted while receiving little to no recharge.

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