California Is Sinking

The state of California is sinking by up to 2 feet per year according to an article published yesterday by the Center for Investigative Reporting, known as Reveal.

Pumping water out of underground reservoirs is causing huge areas of land to sink at what is probably an all-time record pace, the center concluded—citing experts from the United States Geological Survey.

The sinking is damaging bridges, cracking canals, and warping highways. The damage will probably cost billions to repair. The state has been forced to exploit large amounts of groundwater reserves as drought continues to deplete the amount of surface water.

Groundwater now supplies roughly 60 percent of the state’s water. Pumps operating day and night consume nearly 5 percent of the state’s electricity.

Geologists first noticed sinking in California in the 1930s, but it slowed when the state developed its canal system in the 1970s. Today, however, the drought is causing the sinking to speed up once again.