Groundwater depletion during drought threatens future water security of the Colorado River basin

Today, the online edition of Spiegel came up with an article on the worsening drought in the Western U.S. The post is related to a current paper of Jay Famiglietti’s group at UCI. His group is popular for using GRACE data in the context of basin-scale hydrological analyses.

Here is another recent paper, applying GRACE data for groundwater depletion estimates in the Middle East. However, such estimates are connected with partly tremendous uncertainties, beeing a result of the spaceborne measuring principle. Keep in mind, GRACE was not intendend for deriving water budget estimates but delivering a sound assessment of the Earth’s gravity field.

A profound insight in the application of GRACE data for hydrological purposes is provided by the doctoral thesis of Benjamin Fersch from the Regional Climate and Hydrology Group at IMK-IFU Garmisch.

Last not least, German researchers are very active in the field of spaceborne evaluation of mass transport phenomena in the Earth System, which is reflected by a current priority programme of the German Research Foundation.

 

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