You can’t see groundwater when it is in the ground. But you can measure it. And, it turns out, you can even measure it from outer space.
Don’t miss a fascinating lecture Sept. 18 by Dr. Jay Famiglietti, who has led research exploring declines in Earth’s stores of groundwater measured over the last decade by an orbiting NASA satellite. Register to attend.
The satellite sensing, known as the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment or GRACE, detects changes in the mass or water entering or leaving a region on the Earth’s surface. And the news is not good.
“Results point to the harsh reality that groundwater in most of the world’s major aquifers — in India, the Middle East, China, and even in the High Plains and Central Valley aquifers in the United States — is being rapidly depleted, likely never to be replaced” Dr. Famiglietti says. “The global pattern of groundwater depletion also raises important concerns about the potential for heightened conflict, and about climate, water, food and economic security.”
The lecture, sponsored by the Freshwater Society and the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences, is free and open to the public. It will be delivered at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, in the Student Center of the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus.
The lecture is titled Dwindling Groundwater Reserves as Viewed from Space.
Dr. Famiglietti is a hydrologist and professor of Earth System Science and Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Irvine. He is founding director of the UC Center for Hydrologic Modeling. His research is often featured in international media, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Economist, CNN, Al Jazeera, National Public Radio and the BBC.
He is working on a book on climate change, emerging threats to water security and modern view of the global water crisis.
In his lecture, he will not just talk about the problem. He will offer recommendation for management and adaptation strategies, both for policy-makers and individuals.
Dr. Famiglietti will be the 15th lecturer in a speaker series, now in its fifth year, that honors the late Malcolm Moos, a former president of the University of Minnesota. Learn more about the lecture series and view video of previous lectures.
Read a short biography of Dr. Famiglietti from his website. Read an interview with him published last year by Ensia, a publication of the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment. Read a recent Los Angeles Times interview with him about California’s water problems.