FRESNO, Calif. — 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, NASA said in new research released Wednesday.
The research shows that in some places the ground is sinking nearly two inches each month, putting infrastructure on the surface at growing risk of damage.
Sinking land has occurred for decades in California because of excessive groundwater pumping during drought conditions, but the new data shows it is happening faster.
Mark Cowin, head of the California Department of Water Resources, said the costly damage has occurred to major canals that deliver water up and down the state. In addition, wells are being depleted, he said.
“Because of increased pumping, groundwater levels are reaching record lows – up to 100 feet lower than previous records,” Cowin said in a statement.
The report said land near the city of Corcoran sank 13 inches in eight months and part of the California Aqueduct sank eight inches in four months last year.
Full article: California is sinking: Central parts of state are dropping two inches per month due to pumped-out water (National Post)