California land sinking faster due to drought
A NASA report has revealed that land in California's San Joaquin Valley is sinking faster than ever due to continuing drought in the state. Land in the US state, which faces the fifth consecutive year of drought, has gradually sunk over the years because of excessive groundwater extraction. But this year, because of increased pumping, groundwater levels have reached record lows—up to 0.3 metre lower than the previous year—and the land is sinking more rapidly. This has put nearby infrastructure, including aqueducts, bridges, roads, flood control structures, at greater risk, said Mark Cowin, director at the California Department of Water Resources. Over time, it can also permanently reduce the water storage capacity of underground layers. "Land near Corcoran in the Tulare basin sank 33 cm in just eight months. One area in the Sacramento Valley was sinking at 1.27 cm per month, faster than the previous measurements," says the NASA report.