Posted & filed under Water Facts, Water Problems & Solutions.

A new study suggests that pumping a large amount of groundwater for irrigation in California’s agriculture belt can increase the risk of small earthquakes. There have been reports of immoderate pumping of groundwater in San Andreas Fault.

Findings were released on Wednesday by the journal, Nature. GPS readings discovered areas of the San Joaquin Valley floor have been sinking for years through the gradual depletion of the aquifer while the surrounding mountains are being uplifted. The study suggests that human activities are causing the movement of the Earth’s crust and upper mantel.

In the past 100 years, the amount of groundwater drawn from the Central Valley for agricultural proposes is equivalent to the volume of Lake Tahoe. The drought is expected to enhance the problem as communities tap into groundwater faster than it can be replenished.

The earthquake dilemma comes into play due to the San Andreas Fault running parallel to the valley. Scientists say the upward flexing of the surrounding land can trigger small quakes.  Although, it is not clear if long-term stresses from groundwater extraction has anything bearing on the future large quakes on the fault.

Crisscrossing California, the San Andreas is the most significant fault. The fault is responsible for some of the most devastating seismic disasters in state history, including the 1906 San Francisco earthquake that reduced much of the city to rubble.

Hague Water is committed to educating the community on water issues across the world. It is important to stay up to date with water issues as water is one of the most vital elements needed to live. Not only does Hague Water strive to educate the community on water issues but also on water quality. Hague Water conducts a FREE in-home water test to determine the quality of water currently in your home. If your water smells, seems soft or hard, be sure to reach out to Hague so we can get you on a path to cleaner water, today!