Droughts and sinking groundwater levels due to climate change and water consumption have become a familiar worry in many parts of the world. But coastal California is poised to soon encounter a very different kind of problem: Levels of groundwater may rise.
“It’s a concern,” said Ben Hagedorn, Associate Professor of Geological Sciences at California State University Long Beach.
“What we see near the coast is that the rising sea level pushes up the saline groundwater,” he said.
In the process, the fresh groundwater used for drinking gets pressed toward the surface as well since it usually floats on top of the heavier salty groundwater. This could make coastal regions more prone to flooding, but there are also more insidious consequences...