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The Land Is Sinking


Last updated 8/20/2015 at 11:10am

NASA scientists have supplied the facts from images taken over a period of time from airplanes and satellites to conclude that large swathes of the Central Valley in California are sinking more rapidly than ever. California’s four-year Drought has drastically increased the amount of groundwater pumping, causing groundwater levels to drop to historic levels and putting one-fifth more land out of production this year. According to the NASA data, land sank 13 inches in eight months near the city of Corcoran. A section of the California Aqueduct dropped 8 inches within four months last year. Thousands of public and private groundwater well casings in the San Joaquin Valley have been destroyed. The aquifer’s water storage capacity can become permanently compromised by land subsidence. Executive Director of the California Water Foundation, Lester Snow, is calling for immediate action. Local agencies should be offered financial incentives to reduce groundwater reliance and investments ought to be made in storm water capture, according to Snow. “There is no time to waste,” he said. “As long as this continues, we risk further damage to roads, levees and buildings.”

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