Friday, June 19, 2015

The tap is running dry

Underground aquifers supply 35% of the worldwide drinking water.  I gather that much of this water was left in place after the last glaciers melted off during the ice age. In other words, it takes a long time to replace.

New NASA data show how the world is running out of waterTodd C. Frankel, Washington Post, 16 June 2015 (hat tip: MR)
Satellite system flags stressed aquifer: More than half of Earth’s 37 largest aquifers are being depleted, according to gravitational data from the GRACE satellite system.
Twenty-one of the world’s 37 largest aquifers — in locations from India and China to the United States and France — have passed their sustainability tipping points, meaning more water was removed than replaced during the decade-long study period, researchers announced Tuesday. Thirteen aquifers declined at rates that put them into the most troubled category. The researchers said this indicated a long-term problem that’s likely to worsen as reliance on aquifers grows.


PioneerPreppy said...

That's going to be an interesting day when the water runs out.

russell1200 said...

Yes very much so. But it as with many of the disaster stories out there, the US is actually in better shape (scary as that may be) than most.

James M Dakin said...

Russell, I think that "the US is doing better than most", in water and much else, is closely correlated to the amount of energy we use. With that percentage dropping regularly, soon drastically as soon as the PetroDollar crashing, we move quickly to doing just as bad as most.

russell1200 said...

James: Maybe. I think it is a matter of luck. Where we use the most non-renewable water is often where we have the least people. Energy in the form of air conditioning is causing a lot of our problems in your neck of the woods/desert.

I'll have a review at some point, but the resent book Water Knife covers the collapse of the Southwest (with the rest of the country not featured, but not doing real great either) due to drought and water shortages. A lot of battling/sabotage over water rights and the closing down of intra-State immigration within the U.S.