Groundwater levels mostly declining


Ok, does that imply droughts due to global warming? Rising temps puts more water vapor in the air and should make more rain. One way to explain more storms and flooding.

Seems more likely that wind patterns are sending rain to different places. A temporary situation? Driven by climate change? Or just “the weather.”


I am glad to hear that Arizona is taking notice. I was worried that they were just giving their ground water up to cheaply and easy. I noticed they shut down Saudi Arabia from taking their water.

Arizona to end deal with Saudi farms sucking state water dry |


1 Like

It implies that the groundwater system is coupled. Aquifers were/are treated like limitless subsurface reservoirs, but most are not. Inefficient irrigation practices, drought conditions, and over pumping are all caused for groundwater decline.

Warming climates evaporate water more readily from plants and near surface groundwater like wetlands or areas with perched groundwater. Evapotranspiration rates increase with changes in agricultural practices and may lead to reduced return flows into the groundwater system. Think of flood irrigation vs pivot irrigation. One is less plant efficient, but returns water into the aquifers whereas the other more plant efficient and does not return water into the aquifer.

I think what you’re referring to is that warming air masses can change large scale weather patterns. One theory that’s being worked on is do warming temperatures around the equator enlarge hadley cell’s which then push ferrel and polar cells further north or south? Anecdotally I think we’re all seeing major changes in weather patterns than we use to experience when younger, right?

Anyways, it’s all coupled, and we’re likely the primary driver of climate change and our water management practices are extremely inefficient. Which are probably all leading to these declines in groundwater levels on a global scale.


From other papers I’ve read, the main culprit is overdrawing from the aquifers. Growing populations, etc.

My reservation about this paper is the limited areas sampled. It would have been nice nice if they could have used global satellite coverage of gravity changes (the GRACE satellites). Here is a map showing the locations used in the study:

Of the most populous countries in the world only the US and Bangladesh were included. It makes it hard to talk about global trends.