Water Wells Go Dry as California Feels Warming Impacts

Water Wells Go Dry as California Feels Warming Impacts

Climatewire

Officials claim that climate change is causing an increase in dry wells for drought-stricken California.

Jim Jensen, Rancher, uses a pump in an effort to encourage better water quality from a well. Photo credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

As climate change increases heat and drought in California, a record number of California water wells have become dry.

ResidentsReports indicate that there were 1,394 dry wellsThe state’s total population increased by nearly 40% from last year to January through the month of last month. This is the highest recorded number since 2013.

Paul Gosselin (deputy director of the California Department of Water Resources Sustainable Groundwater Management Office) stated that “you have this increasing severity of climate changes” with increased temperatures. This, combined with a historical drought, “reduces real availability of surface water.”

According to Gosselin, the drop in water is due to the increased need for irrigation and other agricultural needs. He also said that there has been poor water management in certain areas of the state.

California is currently in drought. This drought comes on top of a dry 2018 and a drought that lasted between 2011 and 2017. Summers have seen record-breaking temperatures, which have dehydrated soils and vegetation.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, almost three quarters of California was experiencing extreme or exceptional drought this summer. Scientists stated that the drought in the western United States was the region’s most severe 22-year period in over 1,200 years.Climatewire, Aug. 2).

According to the State Water Resources Control Board, approximately 31 million Californians get their water from a public system that partly depends on groundwater. Up to 2,000,000 residents get their water from private wells or a system with fewer than 15 service connections.

There has been a sharp rise in dry wells since a few years back. In 2018, 2020, and beyond, there were less than 100 dry wells reported each year. There are many dry wells in the state, with the Fresno region having the highest concentration.

California is providing water to residents through bottled and trucked in water, and funding projects to connect communities with water systems. Kris Tjernell, deputy director of integrated watershed management at California’s Department of Water Resources, said Kris Tjernell. He said that there are incentives for farmers to use less water.

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act is a group of three laws that was passed in 2014. It requires local water agencies implement sustainable water system plans. It established deadlines of 2040 in the most urgent areas. The state is currently reviewing the plans submitted by these local authorities.

California is also implementing long-term plans. These include increased use by plants to desalinate the ocean water, recycling water and creating more groundwater storage sites.

Wade Crowfoot, Secretary of State Natural Resources, warned that California is in a difficult situation.

Crowfoot stated last month that we are receiving significantly less precipitation from the hotter and drier climates. This is alarming, Crowfoot stated at a meeting the California Coastal Commission. Scientists predict that by 2040, we will lose 10% of our water supply.

Reprinted fromE&E NewsWith permission from POLITICO, LLC. Copyright 2022. E&E News delivers vital news to professionals in the energy and environment industries.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S).

    Anne C. Mulkern It covers energy and climate E&E News.

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