Water shortage: how can we prevent US wells from drying up?

a picture of the inside of the well

Wells provide over 100 million Americans with drinking water. Image: REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar

Debra Perrone
Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, University of California Santa Barbara
Scott Jasechko
Assistant Professor of Water Resources, University of California Santa Barbara
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a chart showing different countries groundwater rates
The U.S. has one of the highest national groundwater use rates in the world. Image: Jasechko and Perrone, 2021, CC BY-ND
a diagram of how ground water works
Groundwater can remain underground for days to millennia, depending on how deep it sinks, how readily it moves through rock around it and how fast humans pump it to the surface. Image: USGS
a chart showing the price of drilling water.
Drilling a new household well in the U.S. Southwest can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Image: Jasechko and Perrone 2020

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Related topics:
WaterClimate ChangeFuture of the Environment
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