Water in the San Luis reservoir, which was constructed as a storage reservoir in California’s Central Valley. Groundwater in this region may never be able to recover from past and future droughts.

Calif.'s Central Valley groundwater may not recover from droughts

Nov 22, 2021 at 1:00pm


Groundwater in Calif.'s Central Valley is at risk of being depleted by pumping too much water during and after droughts, according to a new study in the American Geophysical Union journal Water Resources Research.

The study finds that groundwater storage recovery has been dismal after the state’s last two droughts, with less than a third of groundwater recovered from the drought that spanned 2012 to 2016.

Under a best-case scenario where drought years are followed by consecutive wet years with above-average precipitation, the researchers found there is a high probability it would take six to eight years to fully recover overdrafted water.

However this best-case scenario, where Calif. has six to eight consecutive wet years, is not likely because of the state’s increasingly hot and dry climate. Under a more likely, drier climate, there is less than a 20 percent chance of full overdraft recovery over a 20-year period following a drought.

Continue reading the article from WaterWorld here