Based on an article by Dennis Dimick of National Geographic
“We’re pumping irreplaceable groundwater to counter the drought. When it’s gone, the real crisis begins.”
Climate change brings drought. The drought brings the drainage of underground water supplies.
The Colorado River Basin is losing its water rapidly. Most of the water lost, in fact 75% of it, is groundwater. In only 9 years the basin has lost 65 cubic kilometers of water. This makes up for twice the amount of water stored in Lake Mead, which is the largest reservoir in the United States.
Maybe you think it would not matter if this basin lost so much of its water. The truth is, it would matter. This basin forms the water supply for over 40 million Americans and Mexicans across 7 states, including California, Arizona, Nevada and Colorado. Those 40 million people would be in serious trouble if the Colorado River Basin would go completely dry.
But this problem doesn’t limit itself to just the Colorado River Basin. California’s Central Valley and the southern Great Plains are also being drained.
Groundwater supplies make up for half the needs of the people in the United States. We’re draining the country, while the water doesn’t just magically reappear. Isn’t it time to find another way to meet our needs?