NASA satellites orbiting 280 miles above Earth are revealing what many in the San Joaquin Valley already know: the region's underground water table is being depleted faster than it's being replenished. But the amount of water being lost is surprising.
The volume pumped from underground for agriculture, cities and industry is "not sustainable if current trends continue," said Jay Famiglietti, a professor of Earth sciences at University of California at Irvine who worked on the study. And reduced allocations of river water for Valley farmers, he added, will likely increase pumping demands "for the foreseeable future."
Over the past 5 1/2 years, enough water was lost in the San Joaquin and Sacramento river basins to fill Nevada's Lake Mead -- the effect of an extended drought and more pumping of water for agriculture and other human needs.
Read the full story at fresno.com.