We haven’t checked in with California since our April 9 posting—frankly, it’s so easy to pull news items out of about their plight that we find ourselves needing to check the urge… Last September 14th we had Jay Famiglietti in town as part of our Moos Lectures Series. He had ample data and stories about the subsidence which is occurring as California races to pump the Central Valley aquifer away. A 60 Minutes story the following month fully explored the subsidence issue with Lesley Stahl interviewing a USGS scientist. Ms. Stahl was seemingly having trouble believing that the land could possibly sink so much.
This week’s story in the LA Times picks up the story with the recent issuance of a report from NASA on the accelerating rate of sinking. In some areas they have seen 13-inches of land subsidence in just eight months! Subsidence is where land shifts downward. In this case, when groundwater levels drop silts and clays settle into the vacated spaces causing the surface to sink. It creates issues for water flow, roads, property lines, utilities and foundations.
See the full LA Times article here: http://lat.ms/1E648FN
Research and Policy Director