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A solution to address California’s prolonged period of drought.

 

Photo credit: Food Tank

Stanford’s study is particularly significant in light of the four-year drought the state of California has endured. – Shutterstock

A Solution to California’s Drought?

by Emma Marks

New research may have found a solution to address California’s prolonged period of drought. A study conducted by researchers at Stanford University suggests that California’s aquifers, underground areas where water collects, may have up to three times the amount of useable groundwater as previously estimated. The research estimates that the previously untapped deep groundwater source could hold up to 2,700 billion tons of freshwater under the state’s Central Valley.

Historically, deep groundwater aquifers have been developed for gas and oil extraction, rather than used as a viable water source. Stanford’s study, the first of its kind, calls for further research into the matter so that deep aquifers can be protected from further risk of contamination from oil and gas companies. Ironically, the initial data that formed the basis for the study was provided by the same companies that are at risk of contaminating it. The study found that nearly one-third of gas and oil wells in the state are drilled directly into a source of freshwater.

Read the full article: Food Tank

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Willem Van Cotthem

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