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Thursday, September 12, 2013


Annual groundwater withdrawal estimates by water-use class from the Death Valley regional flow system, 1913 through 1998. Graphic: USGS / San Juan et al., 2010

Imagine down the road one generation is going to have to decide between whether to use and spoil groundwater for fracking oil or irrigation and farming purposes, and thus food supply. Groundwater is a key ingredient in both processes. And looking at the above graph it is apparent that the amount being used for non-agricultural reasons has been rising over the past four decades, according to this USGS report. The full report is linked above for your study.

The other obvious concern that the chart brings out; how much groundwater is there? As the population and various commercial needs grow when does demand outstrip possible supply? Right now, we do not have or see any clear answers to these questions, but hopefully someone does have them before we reach that point. Then, of course, who will decide whether you eat or drive? Hmm...

So whether it's the extinction of pollinating bugs or the exhaustion of groundwater, it looks like farming is about to become much less productive in the years ahead, despite the growing number of mouths it will be expected to feed. And that's not even taking into account what effects may come from climate change - starting with less rainfall. 

One might add - so what's all the fracking excitement about?

Dr Peter G Kinesa
September 12, 2013 

You Decide!

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