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Tag archives for groundwater depletion

Solar Electricity Buybacks May Reduce Groundwater Depletion in India

It’s hard to find solutions that confront water depletion, climate change and rural poverty all at once, but an innovative scheme being piloted in the Indian state of Gujarat does just that. The idea is to enable farmers using solar-powered irrigation pumps to sell excess electricity back to the grid. That gives them an incentive…

The Silver Lining in the California Drought

Denial, it’s been said, is not just a river in Egypt. It runs, of course, through each of us. But Californians have displayed quite a dose of it as a record-breaking drought rolls through its fourth year. It was just last week, propelled by the lowest snowpack in the Sierra Nevada in recorded history, that…

Climate Change Poses Existential Water Risks

We often hear it said that climate change is too abstract to win the support needed to effectively combat it. But the primary way we will experience climate change is through the water cycle – through droughts, floods, depleted rivers, shrinking reservoirs, dried-out soils, melting glaciers, loss of snowpack and overall shortages of water to…

India’s Food Security Threatened by Groundwater Depletion

The severe and ongoing depletion of underground water supplies in India poses a growing threat to the nation’s food security. Without serious efforts to stem the mining of groundwater, food production will decline, unleashing painful social and economic consequences for this nation of 1.25 billion people. All four of the world’s top irrigators – China,…

Groundwater Depletion in Colorado River Basin Poses Big Risk to Water Security

Let’s step back for a minute and consider the implications of the study released last week on the depletion of groundwater in the Colorado River Basin. For anyone concerned about the future of the American West, the findings of this study – which was published online in the journal Geophysical Research Letters and conducted by…

How the West was Lost

Just as the settling and development of the arid American West was fueled by harnessing its available fresh water, the growing lack of water availability may well be its undoing. California’s epic drought is just the latest example of what is shaping up to be the new normal out west.  Last year was the driest…

Drought Hastens Groundwater Depletion in the Texas Panhandle

Persistent drought in northwest Texas is leading farmers to pump more water from the Ogallala Aquifer, hastening the depletion of this crucial water supply. Over the last decade, from 2004-2014, average underground water levels across the 16-county High Plains Underground Water Conservation District (HPWD) have dropped 8.83 feet (2.69 meters), with three counties seeing average…

Epic California Drought and Groundwater: Where Do We Go From Here?

Yesterday our team at the UC Center for Hydrologic Modeling released a report on the California drought.  The report describes the birds-eye view of statewide water resources that we see from the NASA GRACE satellite mission. We’ve been working since the mid-1990’s, well before the mission was launched in 2002, to develop and test methods…

More Water Stress than Meets the Eye

In more and more places around the world, water demands are bumping up against the limits of Earth’s finite water supply. Each year seems to bring another analysis of “water stress” to help us get a fix on how dangerous our water situation is becoming, whether in a particular country or in the world as…

Our Oversized Groundwater Footprint

We don’t see it, smell it or hear it, but the tragedy unfolding underground is nonetheless real – and it spells big trouble. I’m talking about the depletion of groundwater, the stores of H2O contained in geologic formations called aquifers, which billions of people depend upon to supply their drinking water and grow their food.…