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Huge Underground Reservoir of Water Discovered in California

Huge Underground Reservoir of Water Discovered in California

New Study Finds Massive Underground Reservoir of Water in Central California.

Good news! Just when California though it was facing a critical water shortage, a new study has revealed that the state has a huge underground reservoir of potentially usable water that we didn’t even know we had.

The underground reservoir, between 1,000 and 3,000 feet deep, may contain up to three times as much water as we thought was available.

The study, led by Stanford University scientist Professor Robert Jackson and published yesterday in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, couldn’t have come at a better time. It is nothing short of a windfall.

“It’s not often that you find a ‘water windfall,’ but we just did,” said study co-author Jackson.

Water Use
How Much Water Is Used In Homes

But There May Be Some Difficulty

However, before we all get too excited about this huge new water find and go back to taking those long showers and starting to water our lawns again, we should know a few things about this newly-discovered  underground reserve:

  • The water is very deep underground, and will require extra energy to pump it to the surface. This will make the water more expensive, and can probably be made affordable to municipal users but will probably turn out to be too expensive for agricultural use;
  • The water may be brackish, and will require treatment if it is to be consumed as drinking water by consumers;
  • Nearby oil and gas exploration – especially fracking – could potentially pollute much of this water and render it unpotable. The leading Republican and Democrat candidates for US president in 2016 both favor fracking, so there are some difficult issues here that will need to be addressed.

Until this discovery, Californians were experiencing water rationing. And the state last year passed laws regulating underground water for the first time in the state’s history.

And there is still controversy over who gets the water: do we water our lawns or grow almonds for export? There are still some important decisions to be made regarding water rights and water use in California.

For further details, see the full article on the new underground California water discovery in today’s “Science Alert”.

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