In case you haven’t been paying much attention and don’t know anything about the drought in California, here’s some basic information about the drought and a few reasons why the future isn’t as bleak as it sometimes seems, thanks to groundwater in California.
About the drought
Before we begin discussing groundwater and how it pertains to the drought, it might be helpful to learn a little background information about the drought itself:
• When: California has experienced many droughts throughout its history, but the current drought, which began in 2011, is the driest recorded period in the 163 years the state has been tracking rainfall.
• Where: Approximately 98 percent of the state is affected by the current drought, but the southern part of the state is getting the worst of it. The Sierra Nevada Mountains have even been affected by the drought. Parts of mountains that are usually packed with snow are now barren or only have a light dusting of snow.
• Why: There doesn’t seem to be one smoking gun cause of the drought. Scientists believe it has been brought on by a myriad of factors that have met to cause the perfect storm—or lack of storms, rather! One of the biggest factors contributing to the drought is the fact that California is simply a part of the country that’s prone to going through droughts. Another big reason is the abnormally high heat. 2015 was the hottest year in recorded history in California. There’s evidence to suggest human pollution may have helped contribute to the drought. While that’s just a theory, it’s a fact that wasted water has prolonged the drought.
So now that we know a little about the drought, let’s find out a little more about groundwater and how it could be the liquid savior Californians need:
• What: Groundwater is what it sounds like: water that’s in the ground. It can be found in the cracks in soil, sand and rock. It moves slowly under the ground in geologic formations called aquifers.
• Where: Groundwater is found in places throughout the world. In fact, it accounts for 95 percent of the world’s freshwater that’s not in the ice sheets or in glaciers. However, it’s not easy to get to. Groundwater is often found really deep down in the earth. This situation holds true in California. It’s believed that there are 2.7 billion tons of fresh groundwater in California, most of which is at least 3,250 feet deep.
• Why: So, why is groundwater important? Since we don’t have a ton of water above ground due to the drought, and we know we have plenty below the ground, we know it’s possible to use in the future. Groundwater could potentially be used to water our crops (especially our delicious pistachios) and provide drinking water for millions of citizens. Scientists have compared groundwater to a savings account. Right now, we may not need to rely on it, but in the future, it’s nice to know that we have that groundwater to tap into and use as needed.
Contact National Groundwater Surveyor Inc. today to find out more about groundwater in California and how it can be the key to getting us through the drought.
From single family home sites to large agricultural wells, call National Groundwater Surveyor at 800-980-7429.
We also provide Groundwater Surveys in Nevada and Oregon!