California is sinking.
The sinking is starting to destroy bridges, crack irrigation canals and twist highways across the state, according to the US Geological Survey. Currently, the Central Valley is sinking about 2 feet/year. This is due to the almond growers sucking so much groundwater out of the wells.
Joseph Poland of the US Geological Survey used a utility pole to document where a farmer would have been standing in 1925 and 1955 and where Poland was then standing in 1977 after land in the San Joaquin Valley had sunk nearly 30 feet. US Geological Survey
US Geological Survey scientist Michelle Sneed shows where a farmer would have been standing in 1988, before a six-year drought triggered sinking in California’s San Joaquin Valley. It also shows how sinking accelerated in 2008. US Geological Survey
The wall of a canal (left) cracks as the earth around it sinks. The top of a well (right) is pushed up and out of the ground as the ground around it sinks. US Geological Survey
The Russell Avenue bridge once passed more than 2 feet above the water, but it has been sinking as a result of groundwater pumping and now is nearly submerged in the canal. US Geological Survey