Posts Tagged: subsidence
A beach in Carlsbad, San Diego County, which has the nation's largest desalination plant. (Photo: Sherry V Smith, via Shutterstock)
Here we are again: California is enduring another punishing drought, this one only a few years after the last one ended, which was the most severe drought in the state’s nearly 500 years of recorded history. Low winter snowpack combined with scorching summer temperatures and the driest winter months in 100 years have severely impacted the state’s water supply. Lake Oroville, an important reservoir in Butte County, had sunk to 49% of capacity by July 1
A California Department of Water Resources geologist measures and records a pumping water level in a production well. (Photo: John Chacon,/DWR, 2013, via California Water Blog)
Analysis: California’s single most urgent water policy priority is preserving our groundwater supply. In normal years, groundwater provides one-third of our state’s urban and agricultural water. In dry years, it provides up to nearly two-thirds.
An old wind-driven pump that tapped groundwater on a California ranch. Photo: Steven Frame)
As the warm temperatures melt California’s meager snowpack, turning rivers into streams and streams into mere trickles, communities and farmers across the state will be increasingly turning to groundwater to meet customer demand and to keep crops and livestock alive. But there’s a problem: Many will be drawing from aquifers already depleted and long under stress as groundwater levels in many basins across the state are reportedly at historic lows.