California’s drought is over. Now what?
California’s drought is over.
In parts of San Joaquin Valley, where the Surmays live, the ground is sinking as fast as two feet a year, because of over-pumping of groundwater, according to a new study by Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Lab.
As the drought continued, people dug deeper and deeper to extract water from the ground, and that’s taken a toll.
And as the ground sinks behind the water being pumped out, the aquifers don’t hold as much water afterwards.
And that means despite flooding in some parts of the state, the drought’s effects still reverberate.
David Lewis, another resident of the San Joaquin Valley who’s well has gone dry, is moving instead of digging a deeper well.
But the infrastructure that now brings water to their house itself is at threat due to the subsidence.
Groundwater pumping now puts at risk the very system that brings water to the San Joaquin Valley.
"In the past five years were weren’t seeing these mid-winter storms," says Alan Haynes, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service.
"No matter how much it snows during the rainy season, rising temperatures will continue to remove water from the state," says Ullrich.