Credit: The New York Times

Overuse is draining and damaging aquifers nationwide, a New York Times data investigation revealed.

A wealth of underground water helped create America, its vast cities and bountiful farmland. Now, Americans are squandering that inheritance based on 2022 research.

The Times analyzed water levels reported at tens of thousands of sites, revealing a crisis that threatens American prosperity. There were 84,544 monitoring wells examined since 1920 for trends.

Nearly half the sites have declined significantly over the past 40 years as more water has been pumped out than nature can replenish. In the past decade, four of every 10 sites hit all-time lows. And last year was the worst yet.

Global warming has focused concern on land and sky as soaring temperatures intensify hurricanes, droughts and wildfires. But another climate crisis is unfolding, underfoot and out of view.

Many of the aquifers that supply 90 percent of the nation’s water systems, and which have transformed vast stretches of America into some of the world’s most bountiful farmland, are being severely depleted. These declines are threatening irreversible harm to […]

Read the Full Article