An enormous underground reservoir sitting roughly 3,000 feet below the ground level could solve California’s drought.
That is as long as the water isn’t completely contaminated by nearby hydraulic fracking operations. According to research completed by Mary Kang and Robert B. Jackson at Stanford University, the 765 trillion gallons of ground water which currently exists under California’s central valley is three times that of earlier projections.
The bad news?
Much of that water exists in a water table that is likely subject to contamination by nearby natural gas and oil rigs. “Up to 19% and 35% of oil/gas activities have occurred directly in freshwater zones and USDWs, respectively, in the eight counties,” said the study.
“Our findings indicate that California’s Central Valley alone has close to three times the volume of fresh groundwater and four times the volume of USDWs than previous estimates suggest. Therefore, efforts to monitor and protect deeper, saline groundwater resources are needed in California and beyond.” – Salinity of deep groundwater in California: Water quantity, quality, and protection
If that water could be treated economically, groundwater supplies could serve as a pivotal piece in California’s drought puzzle. That said, researchers are indicating that California has already overdrawn from its groundwater resources and doing so further would only exacerbate the problem.
Find the entire study here: Salinity of deep groundwater in California: Water quantity, quality, and protection