NWNL Spotlight

California’s Drought May Cause Earthquakes

An article on TakePart.com leads with this video on California drought with impressive, albeit frightening, science in it. Nearly 60 percent of the state is in severe drought and farmers are depleting groundwater reserves at record rates. Withdrawal of groundwater has been accelerating in recent years, and this depletion has caused the land to sink as much as a foot a year. The depletion also lightens the tremendous load on the nearby San Andreas Fault. This may result in more frequent small earthquakes or even shorten the time before “the big one.” California has never regulated groundwater withdrawal, and regulators are now struggling to draft rules to manage it.