‘Full On Crisis’: Groundwater in California’s Central Valley Disappearing at Alarming Rate

Scientists have discovered that the pace of groundwater depletion in California’s Central Valley has accelerated dramatically during the drought as heavy agricultural pumping has drawn down aquifer levels to new lows and now threatens to devastate the underground water reserves. The research shows that chronic declines in groundwater levels, which have plagued the Central Valley for decades, have worsened significantly in recent years, with particularly rapid declines occurring since 2019.

In California’s Interior, There’s No Escape from the Desperate Heat: ‘Why are We Even Here?’

In Cantua, a small town deep within California’s farming heartland, the heat had always been a part of life. “We can do nothing against it,” said Julia Mendoza, who’s lived in this town for 27 years. But lately, she says, the searing temperatures are almost unlivable.

By midday on Thursday, the first day of a protracted, extreme heatwave in California’s Central Valley, the country roads were sizzling with heat. A young volunteer with a local environmental justice non-profit who had come to check in on the neighborhood collapsed on the sidewalk, her face bright red and damp. Construction crews working nearby quickly swept her into an air-conditioned car and handed her a cold bottle of water.