April 19, 2019
Groundwater pumping causing California subsidence
SACRAMENTO – (INT) – New data shows that some areas of the Sacramento Valley are sinking.

Changes in land subsidence over the past nine years were found to be greatest near the city of Arbuckle in Colusa County.

According to the Sacramento Valley GPS Subsidence Network Report, the land has sunk 2.14 feet compared with baseline measurements recorded in the same location in 2008.

“We’ve long known that excessive groundwater pumping causes subsidence, which is one of the many reasons we’ve pushed for sustainable groundwater management and pursued innovative tools to better manage and report subsidence throughout the state,” said State Department of Water Resources Director Karla Nemeth. “Data provided by studies like this inform water managers and owners of large infrastructure so they can plan for and prevent against subsidence.”

Land subsidence can damage critical infrastructure, including water delivery systems, levees, roads, and bridges. In 2017, a report on San Joaquin Valley subsidence identified areas along the California Aqueduct that have experienced almost two feet of subsidence over three years.

The Sacramento Valley survey results were collected as groundwater levels were recovering from the severe drought of 2012-16, which saw groundwater levels in much of the state reach historic lows.
Story Date: February 20, 2019
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