Study: We’re Running Out of Water — Quickly

posted: 06/17/15
by: Danny Clemens
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Humanity is rapidly depleting our very limited supply of groundwater, according to new research from an international team of researchers led by the University of California, Irvine.

Using data from NASA satellites, the team measured "bumps and dips in Earth's gravity" caused by the weight of water, and found that 13 of the world's largest aquifers are in distress. Disturbingly, the rapidly disappearing aquifers are found in areas that are already extremely dry.

"What happens when a highly stressed aquifer is located in a region with socioeconomic or political tensions that can't supplement declining water supplies fast enough?" asks study lead author Alexandra Richey. "We're trying to raise red flags now to pinpoint where active management today could protect future lives and livelihoods."

In another study also published in the journal Water Resources Research, the same team also concludes that nobody really has a true grasp on how much water is actually left in the stressed aquifers.

"We don't actually know how much is stored in each of these aquifers. Estimates of remaining storage might vary from decades to millennia," added Richey. "In a water-scarce society, we can no longer tolerate this level of uncertainty, especially since groundwater is disappearing so rapidly."

Click here for more information from the University of California, Irvine

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