Groundwater Depletion: The End of Agriculture As We Know It?

Groundwater depletion in High Plains and California Central Valley. 1950-2007. Credit:

A disturbing report from the University of Texas says groundwater depletion in Texas, California, and elsewhere is so pronounced it now threatens our food security. These areas include some of our most fertile agricultural areas: the Central Valley in California and the High Plains stretching from northeast Texas to Wyoming and South Dakota. Together, these areas produce much of our vegetables, fruits, and grains.

Groundwater levels have dropped precipitously in these areas due to decades of pumping groundwater and using it for irrigation. The aquifers simply cannot recharge as fast as water is being pumped out. All of this is made worse by continuing droughts in Texas, the West, and California.

More on groundwater depletion at IVN.