Can Groundwater Depletion Contribute to Sea Level Rise?
Most water pumped from the ground ends up in surface water bodies, eventually making its way to the ocean, and thus has the potential to contribute to sea level rise. In a recent study, the author found an equivalent sea level rise of about 0.5 inches was depleted from global groundwater storage from 1900 to 2008. What’s more, 25% of the depletion occurred over the most recent period from 2000-2008, which is equivalent to 13% of global sea level rise. Things get complicated, however, when the retention of surface water behind dams is taken into account since this can reduce sea level, reports Ars Technica.