Groundwater losses overshadow surface water loss in the Colorado River Basin

While we see the evidence of dwindling surface water supplies in the Colorado River Basin, researchers say those losses are just small part of the region’s overall water loss.

According to Circle of Blue, in a presentation at the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, researchers presented preliminary results from their analysis of data from the NASA GRACE satellites, which measure total water storage.  The results thus far indicate that most of the water loss in the Colorado River Basin is in groundwater.

With reservoir levels approaching the trigger level for a shortage declaration, all eyes are on the surface water sources—namely Lake Mead and Lake Powell.  But Jay Famiglietti, professor and director of UCI’s Center for Hydrologic Modeling, says, “While no one is looking, groundwater is disappearing.”

Read the article from Circle of Blue