Water resources are being challenged to meet domestic, agricultural, and industrial needs. To complement finite surface water supplies that are being stressed by changes in precipitation and increased demand, groundwater is increasingly being used. Sustaining groundwater use requires considering both water quantity and quality. A unique challenge for groundwater use, as compared with surface water, is the presence of naturally occurring contaminants within aquifer sediments, which can enter the water supply. Here we find that recent groundwater pumping, observed through land subsidence, results in an increase in aquifer arsenic concentrations in the San Joaquin Valley of California. By comparison, historic groundwater pumping shows no link to current groundwater arsenic concentrations. Our results support the premise that arsenic can reside within pore water of clay strata within aquifers and is released due to overpumping. We provide a quantitative model for using subsidence as an indicator of arsenic concentrations correlated with groundwater pumping.
R. G. Smith et al., "Overpumping Leads to California Groundwater Arsenic Threat," Nature Communications, vol. 9, no. 1, Nature Publishing Group, Jun 2018.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-04475-3
Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering
Keywords and Phrases
Arsenic; Ground Water; Surface Water, Aquifer Pollution; Arsenic; Concentration (Composition); Groundwater; Groundwater-Surface Water Interaction; Porewater; Pumping; Water Demand; Water Resource; Water Use, Aquifer; Article; California; Comparative Study; Concentration (Parameters); Controlled Study; Evapotranspiration; Groundwater Overpumping; Human; Human Activities; Sediment; Water And Water Related Phenomena; Water Contamination; Water Supply; Water Temperature, California; San Joaquin Valley; United States
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Article - Journal
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01 Jun 2018