The report from UC Irvine’s Center for Hydrologic Modeling is an update to a 2011 study which showed the basins lost nearly as much water as the volume of Lake Mead over a seven year period.
The new report finds water storage in the last two years continues to plummet, and the study doesn’t even include the most recent dry winter.
Report author Jay Famiglietti says the amount of water lost is equal to the water used by all of California’s urban areas each year. Most of the loss is due to groundwater withdrawals.
Famiglietti says groundwater levels drop faster during drought than they can be replenished during wet periods.
“This is a worse than ever situation," says Famiglietti. "So we really have to watch what’s going to happen with the groundwater. It’s been bad in the past during drought periods and now with a zero surface water allocation I’m quite concerned that it will be terrible in the future.”
New regulations that include fines up to $500 a day for residents who waste water are taking effect in California.
Continued drought brings drawdown of groundwater in California, other western states.
High school football concussions, tax relief on home loan modifications, and homeowners association watering requirements – all subjects of bills signed Monday by California Gov. Jerry Brown.
California has approved tough new water restrictions, but how they’ll be enforced depends on where you live.
Many people living in small Central Valley communities in California are watching their wells run dry. US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced more federal aid to help those hurt by the drought.