Subsidence In California

334 Words2 Pages
Subsidence is the process of land sinking down further into the Earth and is currently a serious concern in California 's Central Valley. According to data from NASA and California, land is sinking throughout the valley at a rate of up to two inches per month, which is quite drastic and poses a grave threat to infrastructure as well as the environment. Roads and bridges are being ripped apart by the ground while canals and wells are cracking. The problem is so serious that railway lines and houses are feared to be damaged next. Natural landscape is being torn apart, large rifts in the land are being formed, and aquifers are suffering permanent and irreversible harm. The cause of all this is the unregulated pumping of groundwater out of aquifers by California 's farmers in the Central Valley. As water is drawn out of these reservoirs, their structural integrity fails and they consequently collapse, causing the land above to sink. Once the aquifers collapse, their maximum capacity is reduced, so they cannot be fully refilled during wet periods. Less water will be stored and pumped, which is a major concern for drought years in the future. Fortunately, there are plans to regulate pumping and prevent aquifer collapse, though nothing will occur for another five…show more content…
Subsidence displays the interconnectedness of various problems in California. The intense drought has forced water restrictions onto farmers who are accustomed to excess water and therefore exploit underground aquifers because California is the only state to not regulate groundwater pumping. This causes subsidence, which lowers the land and wrecks havoc on our infrastructure and the environment. Aquifers suffer permanent capacity reductions, which jeopardizes California 's water supply in the future and will cause more groundwater to be pumped, perpetuating the problem. Subsidence shows the importance for California to properly manage its water supply or else risk great economical and environmental
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