The impact of climate change on groundwater supply

Photo credit: Nature World News

Snowfall in the Sierra Nevada has decreased due to climate change. Because snow is an important source of groundwater recharge, scientists are monitoring it and releasing information on their findings. (Photo : Wikimedia Commons )

California and Drought: Sierra Nevada Groundwater Sources at Risk

By Samantha Mathewson

In and out of California’s drought, the Sierra Nevada’s snowpack plays a crucial role in groundwater recharge.

“The lower than historically normal snowfall in recent years is one environmental factor that has contributed to the current drought in California,” Ryan Webb, Ph.D. student in the department of civil and environmental engineering at Colorado State University, said in a statement.

With that in mind, Webb and other researchers set out to better understand the impact that climate change has on groundwater supply. They observed changes in soil wetting and drying that occur as snow melts in snowy, mountainous regions. They did this by examining subsurface water content levels in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, in soil that remains wet and unfrozen beneath winter snowpacks in this region, the statement said.

Read the full text: Nature World News


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.