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.”
Californians are exceeding Governor Jerry Brown's 25 percent conservation mandate.
(AP) - A group of nonprofit organizations and businesses has started a crowdfunding campaign to assist families affected by the state's drought and wildfires.
Extreme drought expanded in the Western U.S. and the drought is taking a toll on topsoil moisture in California.
(AP) - More people are drowning in two of Sacramento's rivers, and the drought may be partially responsible.
(AP) - State officials say strong water conservation figures for July show Californians are beginning to understand the dire need to cut back in a fourth year of drought.