As groundwater depletes, arid American West is moving east

Even under modest climate warming scenarios, the continental United States faces a significant loss of groundwater—about 119 million cubic meters, or roughly enough to fill Lake Powell four times, a first-of-its-kind study has shown. The results show that as warming temperatures shift the balance between water supply and demand, shallow groundwater storage can buffer plant water stress—but only where shallow groundwater connections are present, and not indefinitely.