Groundwater Pumping on Gulf Coast Leads to Subsidence

Amid a persistent drought, a growing population and a dwindling supply of surface water, much of Texas is searching for underground water resources.

But a large swath of Texas — home to close to one-quarter of its population — is looking for water supplies anywhere but beneath its surface. A century of intense groundwater pumping in the fast-growing Houston metropolitan area has collapsed the layers of the Gulf Coast Aquifer, causing the land above to sink. The only solution is to stop pumping, a strategy that some areas are resisting.

The geological phenomenon, unique to this part of Texas because of the ...

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