9 hours ago
Life from the viewpoint of someone who needs to be in three places at once.
|Google Earth depiction of Landsat imagery of California showing the mountains and valleys.|
Groundwater comes from aquifers—spongelike gravel and sand-filled underground reservoirs—and we see this water only when it flows from springs and wells. In the United States we rely on this hidden—and shrinking—water supply to meet half our needs, and as drought shrinks surface water in lakes, rivers, and reservoirs, we rely on groundwater from aquifers even more. Some shallow aquifers recharge from surface water, but deeper aquifers contain ancient water locked in the earth by changes in geology thousands or millions of years ago. These aquifers typically cannot recharge, and once this "fossil" water is gone, it is gone forever—potentially changing how and where we can live and grow food, among other things.How bad is it? In the past, we didn't know. Even where self-reporting was required, how could we check the accuracy of water users' self-reported usage?
|"Potsdam Potato" vertically exaggerated depiction of the earth's gravity field or mass distribution.|
|Global visualization of a gravity model created with data from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) showing variations in Earth’s gravity field.|
|Grace observed trends in groundwater levels, October, 2003 – March, 2009Image Credit: University Of California Center For Hydrologic Modeling via JPL.|
|Integrate these groundwater depletion trends a decade or so and you can understand why portions of the Central Valley have sunk 30 feet.|
NEW GROUNDWATER RULESThe moneybags with the lobbyists got everything they wanted. By 2040, the aquifer that took millions of years to form will be completely dry at the rate they are using it up.
The groundwater legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday requires local water agencies to replenish underground aquifers that have been depleted. Farmers will likely have to meter their wells, and some may be forced to cease or dramatically reduce pumping.By 2017, groundwater management agencies must be created across California.
By 2020, groundwater basins that are "overdrafted" (meaning more water is being pumped than replenished) must have "sustainability plans."
By 2022, all other basins must have such plans.
By 2040, all "high and medium priority" basins must achieve sustainability.
|Countertop and floor tile samples with bath mat.|
|Flood irrigation of almond grove picture courtesy of Grist.org|
|Global mean monthly potential evaporation via Arid Lands Research Sciences at U of Arizona.|
|Visualization of the colors of 94,526 paintings from between 1800 and 2000 (courtesy Martin Bellander)|
|Macky Auditorium and flags of the world set up for CWA.|
|The "Rocket Ghee Roast" dosa at Jai Ho. Yum.|
|In front of Hale Science building on the CU campus.|
|Bad Dad, not the city, required Cat 6 data ports in every room.|
|Global animation of PWV from 20thCR V2c for 1938-02-27-00 UTC through 1938-03-03-18 UTC.|