Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The water crisis we can't see

By now, followers of this blog are probably well aware that the state's vital waterways face a crisis. But there's a water crisis literally under the surface of the state that, until now, has largely been hidden from view.

Thanks to the folks at NASA, we have a visual to confirm what common sense long ago said was happening: The state's groundwater table is being rapidly depleted.

Drought conditions didn't stop water agencies, farmers and other entities from pumping enough H2O from the Central Valley water table the past six years to fill the largest reservoir in the nation — the lake made possible by Hoover Dam.

Those overdrafting from aquifers lay the blame (tell me if this sounds familiar) on environmentalists who have succeeded in reducing the amount of water pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. They're essentially saying that groundwater reserves are being destroyed because they can't further destroy the Delta.

It's another facet of California's water puzzle that is far from sustainable. And it'll remain that way until the myth of infinite growth is put six feet under.

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