Ground Water

NASA Is Watching California’s Groundwater Crisis from Space 0422 - Tulare Basin is sinking a foot a year.  Groundwater depletion is a big problems much of Brazil as well.

Water Tables

How rising seas can cause ground-water to become salty.

     Salinity intrusion is already a severe problem in Bangladesh.

     It is a serious problem in many other countries, including Vietnam, Egypt, Tanzania, Senegal, Micronesia, even Florida and Louisiana.  (See Sea Rise impacts page.)

change in mm of H2O / yrscale -20 to +25.  Brown / red areas are losing the most water.
Blue / dark blue areas are gaining the most.

     The Canning River flows to Perth.  The Central Valley is California’s.  The Guarani Basin is south of Brasilia, east of Asunción and Santa Fe, west of São Paulo and Curitiba, and north of Montevideo.

     170 mm of water loss from Guarani's Aquifer approximates 200 cu km, 130 mm lost from the US Southern Plains almost 25 cu km, and north China's 170 mm loss since 2004 about 20 cu km.  Northwest India lost 109 cu km from Aug. 2002 to Oct. 2008.

From J.S. Famiglietti, “The global groundwater crisis”, Nature Climate Change, Oct. 29, 2014.

Groundwater Depletion in the United States (1900−2008) - USGS / Kownikov 0513 - abstract     "Estimated groundwater depletion in the United States during 1900–2008 totals approximately 1,000 cubic kilometers (km3).  Furthermore, the rate of groundwater depletion has increased markedly since about 1950.  Maximum rates occurred during the most recent period (2000–2008), when the depletion rate averaged almost 25 km per year (compared to 9.2 km3 per year averaged over the 1900–2008 timeframe).”  Or 7.8 km3 per year from 1900 to 2000.  Before 2000-2008, depletion rates were next fastest over 1951-1980, at 15.1 km3) per year (from full study, below).

Groundwater Trends - UNESCO / van der Grun 0712 - PDF, 44 pages

     6 excerpts below: 

**Average of the 1995 and 2025 'business as usual scenario' estimates by Alcamo et al. (2003).

Groundwater depletion has accounted for ~ 5% of the 250 mm sea level rise since 1900.

California Water Loss - 30 Cubic Km in 5 Years 1209

Irrigation Depletes India’s Groundwater - 54 cu km per Year 0809

North India's maximum groundwater loss rate is almost 2 inches per year, but much of central California's is 15-45 inches per year, up to 100 inches in one small area.  But the affected area in north India is much larger.

Ogalalla Acquifer               Water & Groundwater in China 0308 (image not from article)

changes from ~1930 to 1997-98 (not 2008)

Gray shows water table at least 40 meters lower than in 1960.

Section Map: Water