California is currently experiencing the third year of one of the most severe short-term droughts ever recorded. Data from U.S. Drought Monitor shows that as of Sept. 30, 82% of the state is facing extreme or exceptional drought conditions.
But the state is not the only area being plagued by critical drops in groundwater reserves. Data collected by GRACE indicates that the supply of groundwater is in decline worldwide, especially in regions that rely on it most.
"We're seeing it happening all over the world. It's happening in most of the major aquifers in the arid and semi-arid parts of the world where we rely on those aquifers. But we're able to see now the impact we're having on this over exploitation," Famiglietti told Science Magazine.
A growing number of communities in central and northern California could end up without water in 60 days due to the Golden state’s prolonged drought.
There are now a dozen of small communities in Central and Northern California relying on a single source of water – which has the water resources board concerned they will not have any at all in two months’ time.
At a mobile home park north of Oroville, more than 30 families are severely cutting back. The water supply is so tight it is shut off entirely between 10 pm and 5 am, according to CBS Sacramento. The families are relying on one well – all the others have dried up – and have to drive five miles to buy drinking water for themselves and their animals.
“Nobody has any idea how disastrous it’s going to be,” Mike Wade of California Farm Water Coalition told the Associated Press.