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Study of Groundwater Wells Shows Deeper Drilling

Researchers at University of California, Santa Barbara, have published the results of a study of groundwater wells across the United States. They found that wells are getting deeper, and the deepening trend extends across 79% of the areas they looked at, spanning the time period from 1950 to 2015. “What we’re finding is that in places where water levels are declining, some people are drilling deeper, maybe to avoid having their primary water supply go dry,” study author Debra Perrone said. “Regardless of the reasons why Americans are drilling deeper, we suggest that deeper well drilling is an unsustainable stopgap to groundwater depletion.” Deeper water takes more energy to pump and is more saline. The study authors suggest that understanding more about how groundwater is being used is key to future management and governance.