Study Warns California Continues to Face Threat of Megadrought

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Published on June 19, 2024 - Duration: 01:31s

Study Warns California Continues to Face Threat of Megadrought

Study Warns California , Continues to Face , Threat of Megadrought.

'Newsweek' reports that California may not have cured the state's water woes, despite several years of snow-heavy winters.

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According to NASA satellite data, recent snowfall has been insufficient to offset the impact of an ongoing megadrought across the western states.

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A new paper published in the journal, 'Geophysical Research Letters', details how groundwater supplies remain concerning for both domestic and agricultural use.

Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites revealed that the entire Great Basin groundwater supply has dropped by 16.5 cubic miles in the last 20 years.

The data highlights that while snowmelt does help resupply groundwater levels, it is not enough to replenish the current diminished levels.

In years like the 2022-23 winter, I expected that the record amount of snowfall would really help to replenish the groundwater supply.

But overall, the decline continued, Dorothy Hall, Study co-author and University of Maryland earth scientist, via NASA statement.

'Newsweek' reports that the U.S. southwest has been facing a megadrought since the beginning of the millennium.

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A megadrought is a drought that lasts two or more decades.

, Jonathan Overpeck, Dean of environmental studies at the University of Michigan, via 'Newsweek'.

The current southwest megadrought started in 1999 and has become the longest drought in U.S. history, and also the most severe in at least 1,200 years, Jonathan Overpeck, Dean of environmental studies at the University of Michigan, via 'Newsweek'.

With the ongoing threat of drought, farmers downstream often can't get enough water.

The ultimate solution will have to include wiser water management, Dorothy Hall, Study co-author and University of Maryland earth scientist, via NASA statement


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Megadrought

Prolonged drought lasting two decades or longer

California

U.S. state
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Dorothy Hall (scientist)

Snow and ice scientist


University of Michigan

Public research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan, US

University of Maryland, College Park

Public university in College Park, Maryland, US

Great Basin

Large depression in western North America

GRACE and GRACE-FO

Joint American-German space mission to map Earth's gravitational field

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