groundwater depletion Archives - State of the Planet

America’s Groundwater Crisis

The future of America’s water supply is an open question. The need for an adequate water supply is not open to question.

by |November 6, 2023

Study Sees Potential Ways to Mitigate India’s Risk of Groundwater Depletion

Government-subsidized electricity has played a big role in pumping out groundwater for irrigation at an unsustainable rate. Changing the system could help, say researchers.

by |July 1, 2022

In Biblical Land, Searching for Droughts Past and Future

Human-influenced climate warming has already reduced rainfall and increased evaporation in the Mideast, worsening water shortages. Up to now, climate scientists had projected that rainfall could decline another 20 percent by 2100. But the Dead Sea cores suggest that things could become much worse, much faster.

by |October 31, 2017

Study Downgrades Groundwater Contribution to Sea Level Rise

Some research suggests that, along with melting ice sheets and glaciers, the water pumped from underground for irrigation and other uses, on the rise worldwide, could contribute substantially to rising sea levels over the next 50 years. A new study published in Nature Climate Change says the magnitude is substantially lower.

by |May 3, 2016

The Growing Groundwater Crisis

Groundwater is being depleted at alarming rates, not only in drought-stricken California, but around the world. When groundwater is depleted, it can take tens to hundreds of years to for it to reestablish its sustainable level, if at all. What can be done to avert a water crisis?

US Groundwater Declines More Widespread Than Commonly Thought

Groundwater levels are dropping across a much wider swath of the United States than is generally discussed, according to a new report, suggesting that the nation’s long-term pattern of groundwater use is broadly unsustainable.

by |March 17, 2014
Groundwater pump, Gujarat, India

Achieving Sustainable Water, Energy and Agriculture in Gujarat, India

Watch a video about the Columbia Water Center’s project to address a looming water crisis in north Gujarat, India.

by |February 19, 2013

The Middle East Dries Up—Another Case Study in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus

As seductive as it is, depleting non-renewable aquifers to grow food is fundamentally unsustainable for the long term, as Saudi Arabia and other nations are finding out. According to a recent article by Lester Brown, in the 1970s the world’s largest oil producer realized it could use oil-drilling technology to tap deep underwater aquifers and—amazingly,… read more

by |April 26, 2011
Source: National Resources Defense Council

Scary Water Study from the NRDC

A fascinating and frightening recent study from the National Resources Defense Council unveiled serious threats to water sustainability in the United States over the coming decades. In an era of rapidly unfolding climate change, the Council’s research found that more than 1,100 counties, or one third of all counties in the lower 48 states, face… read more

by |July 28, 2010

Applied Climate Research: A Conversation with Stefan Sobolowski (Part 2)

In part 1 of this interview, I talked with Columbia Water Center hydroclimatologist Stefan Sobolowski about the effects of continental snowcover on climate, and the implications of his research on climate change. In part 2, we talk about the problem of uncertainty in climate prediction models, extreme weather events, the regional variation of climate change effects and improved precipitation forecasting for India and the world.

by |June 28, 2010