• 01 Jul 2015 /  Uncategorized No Comments

     August 10, 2012

    Many of the world’s most important food-producing regions depend on freshwater from massive underground aquifers that have built up over thousands of years.

    Ogallala Aquifer in the midwestern United States. The Upper Ganges, sustaining India and Pakistan.

    Going, going… gone? (Kevin Clark-AP)

    Yet many of those aquifers are now being sucked dry by irrigation and other uses faster than they can be replenished by rainwater, according to a new study in Nature. It’s unclear when many of these aquifers will be completely emptied — scientists are still trying to measure how much “fossil water” these aquifers actually hold. But it’s a worrisome trend: About 1.7 billion people rely on aquifers that are rapidly being depleted. And once they’re gone, it would take thousands of years to refill them.

    The Nature study, published by researchers at McGill and Utrecht University in the Netherlands, offers a map showing the regions where the use of water from these aquifers vastly exceeds the rate at which they’re being refilled by rain.  (read more)

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    Posted by vvrne @ 6:55 pm

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