Environment

November 22, 2013

California's Merced County is sinking; researchers blame over-pumping of groundwater

So much groundwater is being pumped from the San Joaquin Valley that it’s causing a massive swath of Merced County’s surface to sink at an alarming rate, U.S. Geological Survey researchers revealed Thursday.

LOS BANOS — So much groundwater is being pumped from the San Joaquin Valley that it’s causing a massive swath of Merced County’s surface to sink at an alarming rate, U.S. Geological Survey researchers revealed Thursday.

Parts of Merced south of El Nido dropped more than 21 inches in just two years. That area – often called Red Top by locals – appears to be continuing to sink at a rate of nearly 1 foot per year.

Researchers warn that the area that’s sinking is gradually spreading across 1,200 square miles – from the cities of Merced on the north, to Los Banos on the west, Madera on the east and Mendota on the south.

That’s a much larger region than previous studies had ever documented.

Read more here: http://www.modbee.com/2013/11/21/3044724/merced-county-is-sinking-researchers.html

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