Groundwater losses putting U.S. Southwest supply in jeopardy: study


Since 2004, researchers said, the Colorado River basin – the largest in the Southwest – has lost 64 trillion litres, of water. That’s enough to supply more than 50 million households for a year.

Global News

SAN FRANCISCO – Groundwater losses from the Colorado River basin appear massive enough to challenge long-term water supplies for the seven U.S. states and parts of Mexico that it serves, according to a new study released Thursday that used NASA satellites.

Researchers from NASA and the University of California, Irvine say their study is the first to quantify how much groundwater people in the West are using during the region’s current drought.

READ MORE:Bandits demand villagers deliver 35 buckets of water a day in drought

Stephanie Castle, the study’s lead author and a water resource specialist at the University of California, Irvine, called the extent of the groundwater depletion “shocking.”

“We didn’t realize the magnitude of how much water we actually depleted” in the West, Castle said.

Since 2004, researchers said, the Colorado River basin – the largest in the Southwest – has lost 64 trillion litres, of water…

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