USGS groundwater study documents accelerated aquifer depletion

By on July 4, 2013
Earth and Atmosphere News

The U.S. Geological Survey has documented alarming drainage rates in America’s aquifers, according to a release from the agency.

A USGS study combined data from multiple analyses to evaluate trends in volume loss across 40 separate aquifers.From 1900 to 2008, groundwater depletions totalled more than twice the volume of water in Lake Erie. From 2000-2008, U.S. groundwater drainage accounted for more than 2 percent of global sea-level increases.

“Groundwater is one of the nation’s most important natural resources,” said Suzette Kimball, acting USGS director, in the release. Kimball said that aquifers provide drinking water and irrigation, in addition to stabilizing ecosystems.

Groundwater depletion can cause problems with well yields, surface water flow, and geological shifting.

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