Aquifer depletion is not a hoax, global warming isn't either but I guess that is for a different question. Aquifer depletion is a serious issue along the Rocky Mountain range where water supplies are being used far more without being re-supplied. Aquifer depletion in California had real consequences where the land dropped in elevation due to it. There is plenty of evidence that indicates aquifer depletion is real.
Unfortunately, aquifer depletion is not an illusion, any more than global warming is.
Fossil water, water that has soaked into the aquifers over countless centuries, is
being pumped up far more quickly than it can be replaced. In California, three
years of drought have encouraged agriculturalists to draw up excessive underground
water, sometimes illicitly, to save orchards, vineyards, and other perennial crops
that would otherwise dry up and die. Though the need for water is pressing, we
are stealing from future generations when we drain the aquifers.
Two of the big aquifers that are important to the USA have been verified as being depleted faster than they are refilling. The farmers using the Ogallala aquifer have to drill much deeper to hit water than they used to. Initially they only had to drill about a hundred feet to hit water. Many farmers have had to drill new wells beside the old well, often going 400 feet deep. Since it has become aconcern they have measured the water level and its rate of depletion is known for their new wells.
People in rural communities have known for a long time that aquifer levels were dropping. Drought causes a farmer to have to irrigate his crops, with the water being pulled from a deep well. Some areas in the Midwest have seen their aquifer levels drop significantly. Families living in farming communities have had their shallow wells go dry and have had to have new deep wells drilled.
No, both aquifer depletion and global warming are warning signs for the ongoing stability of the planet. As Midwest farmers continue irrigation, the aquifers beneath the Great Plains continue to empty, meaning that the nation's water supply is in greater danger than ever before. Policy planners must address this situation.