As the news media bemoans the loss of significant amounts of US groundwater, utility professionals are faced with the effects of falling groundwater levels on their customers. The lack of water to use is only the most obvious problem.
The environmental effects of falling groundwater levels will also have an impact on everyday life. When the water goes away As groundwater is depleted, wells will yield less. Areas most severely afflicted will have to make other arrangements for their domestic, industrial and agricultural water supplies. Surface water flow will decrease, which may cause difficulties with navigation and will certainly bring complaints from recreational users.
As soil dries out, subsidence will become a problem in many areas. Finding new water The most obvious means of replacing a diminishing water supply is deeper wells. This only staves off the problem, however, since eventually those wells, too, will run dry.
Conservation efforts and better water treatment procedures may take up some of the slack, but certainly not all. Some localities, including America’s largest cities, already import water, and that practice may spread, although one wonders where the water will come from.
In the short term, the best answer may be finding as yet untapped aquifers, however small. Experts with the right geophysical equipment can detect water by the electrical resistance of the soil, making it possible to get by until a permanent solution to the loss of groundwater is implemented.