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Total California Water Storage Near Decade Low

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio
 

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

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.

“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.”

Famiglietti says groundwater levels drop faster during drought than they can be replenished during wet periods.

UCCHM Water Advisory 1

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Amy Quinton

Former Environment Reporter

Amy came to Sacramento from New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) where she was Environment Reporter. Amy has also reported for NPR member stations WFAE in Charlotte, WAMU in Washington D.C. and American Public Media's "Marketplace."  Read Full Bio 

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