How do droughts affect groundwater use?
In an average year, about 30% of California’s urban and agricultural water supplies come from groundwater pumping. Reliance on groundwater increases during droughts due to the reduced availability of surface water. Increased groundwater pumping during droughts results in increased lowering of water levels in groundwater basins. Information about Department of Water Resources changes in groundwater levels is available; use the map interface to locate your area of interest.

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1. What is a drought?
2. What differentiates a normal rainfall year from a dry year?
3. What were typical reductions in urban water use during the last drought?
4. When was California’s last major drought?
5. How do droughts affect groundwater use?