The Case of California’s Missing Water

Brew a full pot of water through coffee beans and you should enjoy a full pot of coffee, more or less. In California’s Pajaro Valley, however, this is certainly not the case — though no one seems to know why.

Each winter nearly 4,500 acre-feet of water travel from a swamp just south of San Francisco into a nearby pond. Slowly, the supply percolates down through the soil, replenishing the underground store. Yet the wells that harvest the water have only been able to access 1,000 acre-feet. That amounts to less than a quarter of the original volume.

Scientists, equally puzzled, are utilizing almost one million dollars in grants to research why the downward wending of the water goes awry. If the researchers — currently from UC Santa Cruz, Stanford and the University of Alaska — locate the missing water and make it accessible, the answers may benefit the entire state.

“This pond is not going to solve Pajaro Valley’s groundwater problem, but it’s a piece of the puzzle,” UC Santa Cruz earth sciences professor Andy Fisher told the Mercury News. Fisher hopes that the project provides an example of the local solutions needed to rectify statewide devastation from drought.

Read more here.

Source: The Mercury News

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