Thursday, January 19, 2012

Global Groundwater Levels Dropping

The most recent issue of Science News reports that globally, groundwater levels have dropped over the last nine years, a trend that's visible thanks to gravity-monitoring satellites.

This is especially true in areas where agriculture is increasing, often drawing a higher water demand in dry climates. For example, according to Science News, California's Central Valley pulls almost 4 cubic kilometers of groundwater per year. That's enough to fill over 1.5 million Olympic sized swimming pools- and that's only one region of the globe. Other factors, such as climate change, worsen the problem. In order to reach a more globally sustainable levels, changes will have to be made in irrigation and other water management practices.

Want to learn more about gravity-monitoring satellites or groundwater levels?
Image via GRACE