Annual groundwater withdrawal estimates by water-use class from the Death Valley regional flow system, 1913 through 1998. Graphic: USGS / San Juan et al., 2010

Groundwater pumpage within the Death Valley area began around 1913 in Pahrump Valley. Pumpage began mainly to support rising agricultural interests, but also supplied mining, industry, rural, and urban growth. The number of pumping wells in the region had increased from three in 1913 to over 9,300 in 1998. Pumpage for irrigation in the DVRFS accounted for nearly 91 percent of total groundwater with- drawals through the year 1998. Annual pumpage estimates by San Juan and others (2010) for 1913–1998 (fig. 25) show that annual withdrawals increased from 4.9 million m3 in 1913 to 93.8 million m3 in 1998, with a substantial increase in pump- age rates after 1945. In total, 3.2 km3 of groundwater was withdrawn from the study area from 1913 to 1998 (San Juan and others, 2010).

Groundwater Depletion in the United States (1900–2008)



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