Central Valley groundwater mining detected from space

Approximate location of maximum subsidence in the United States identified by research efforts of Dr. Joseph F. Poland (pictured). Signs on pole show approximate altitude of land surface in 1925, 1955, and 1977. The site is in the San Joaquin Valley southwest of Mendota, California. Source: USGS. Click on the image to be taken to a groundwater subsidence fact sheet.

PASADENA, California — New space observations reveal that since October 2003, the aquifers for California’s primary agricultural region — the Central Valley — and its major mountain water source — the Sierra Nevadas — have lost nearly enough water combined to fill Lake Mead, America’s largest reservoir, reports the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. To keep reading the JPL news release, click here.

Legislation that would have required monitoring of groundwater in the Central Valley was gutted at the last minute from the raft of water bills passed by the