New Estimate Finds Less Fresh Groundwater in U.S. Than Previously Assumed

photo: drilling rig and drilling for water

Photo: Well drillers for Hydro Resources drill a well near Sublette, Kansas. Photo © Brian Lehmann / Circle of Blue By Brett Walton, Circle of Blue

Drilling deeper not a long-term strategy, authors say.

When a severe drought enveloped California a few years ago and rivers shriveled, farmers in the Central Valley punched wells deeper underground, seeking to tap water reserves that were untouched by aridity on the surface.

In … [more…]

US groundwater in peril: potable water supply less than thought

photo: a private, potable groundwater well in New Mexico, USA

Photo: A groundwater well near Estancia, New Mexico. Credit: Debra Perrone

The U.S. groundwater supply is smaller than originally thought, according to a new research study that includes a University of Arizona hydrologist.

The study provides important insights into the depths of underground fresh and brackish water in some of the most prominent sedimentary basins across the U.S.

The research by scientists from the University of Saskatchewan, the UA and … [more…]

Global coal industry using as much water as a billion people each year

map: coal-fired power plants and regions of water scarcity in the USA

We already know that coal-fired power plants are bad for the planet, but that’s usually because we are just thinking about the enormous amounts of carbon dioxide emissions they contribute to our atmosphere. A new Greenpeace report entitled The Great Water Grab sheds light on another terrifying aspect of the coal industry – its astronomical water consumption. The report suggests that the global coal industry uses the same amount of … [more…]

California voters rejected Proposition 3. Where now on water?

photo: irrigation canal in central California. Voters rejected Proposition 3. Where now on water?

In this Feb. 25, 2016 file photo, water flows through an irrigation canal to crops near Lemoore, Calif. Rich Pedroncelli AP

California voters have rejected Proposition 3, the $8.9 billion water bond, sending a message to politicians. But what is that message?

It can’t be that the state’s water problems have been solved. They haven’t been.

It can’t be that Californians don’t care about water. Poll after poll shows we … [more…]

Benefits of Groundwater Recharge Demonstrated in Lodi Vineyards

photo: flooding a vineyard in order to recharge the groundwater supply.

Costa Vineyards in Lodi is successfully using groundwater recharge in this 14-acre Zinfandel block. Photo: Ted Rieger

Groundwater is a major source of irrigation water for California agriculture and is increasingly being managed and regulated to address the overdrafting of aquifers in many of the state’s groundwater basins. The ability to capture and store water for future use through groundwater recharge on existing farmlands has been demonstrated in recent years, … [more…]