The world is facing an unprecedented shortage of water. No wonder it is predicted that the next World War will be on the issue of water. Drought water wastage and it was never a good thing. A recent study found that falling water levels has caused US soil to rise more than normal.
The study has revealed that water loss may be one of the reasons for rising ground levels of the western US. Researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in University of California, San Diego, made this discovery and their findings were published in the online journal Science last August 21st.
The researchers obtained the ground position data using GPS stations which are present all over the western US. It was observed that water shortages are causing an uplift effect up to 15 mm or ½ inches in the mountains of California and four mm or 0.15 of an inch on an average across the western US.
Dan Cayan, research meteorologist at Scripps and USGS, says in a statement “These results quantify the amount of water mass lost in the past few years. It also represents a powerful new way to track water resources over a very large landscape. We can home in on the Sierra Nevada Mountains and critical California snowpack. These results demonstrate that this technique can be used to study changes in fresh water stocks in other regions around the world, if they have a network of GPS sensors.”
The study estimates a deficit of water at almost 240 gigatons or 63 trillion water gallons. This is equivalent four inch layer of water spread across Western US.
The possibility of the rise in the soil of western US was first observed by an assistant research geophysicist at Scripps, Adrian Borsa who observed that all the GPS stations have moved upwards in the current years, from 2003 to 2014. This corresponds to the timing of the drought currently being experienced. He observed the same pattern when he analyzed several sets of ground positions data from the GPS stations within the Plate Boundary Observatory and networks of the National Science Foundation.
U.S has seen one of the worst droughts ever recorded in 2012. It was also dubbed as the most widespread drought since the year 1956 and reminded of the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s.