sinkThe drought-stricken state of California is sinking into itself at an alarming rate, suggests a new report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The continued over-pumping of groundwater in many parts of the state — the direct result of a historic three-year dry spell — is creating empty pockets of earth that are causing the ground to literally drop, in some places by as much as one foot per year. The Coachella Valley in Southern California, explains the report, saw surface declines of between 9 inches and 2 feet between 1995 and 2010. Increasing water demand combined with minimal rainfall and recharge throughout the area have created conditions in which underground aquifers are running completely dry, leading to infrastructure damage that’s affecting roads, businesses and residences. More