Scientists say Earth’s groundwater being drained at rapid rate

Scientists warned the situation would only worsen with climate change and population growth

AFP, June 17

Washington – Human activity is leading to the rapid draining of about one third of the planet’s largest underground water reserves and it is unclear how much fluid remains in them, two new studies have found.

Consequently, huge sections of the population are using up groundwater without knowing when it will run out, researchers said in findings that will appear in the journal Water Resources Research and were posted online on Tuesday.

“Available physical and chemical measurements are simply insufficient,” University of California Irvine professor and principal investigator Jay Famiglietti said in a statement.


Researchers found that the Arabian Aquifer System, providing water for more than 60 million people, is the world’s most overstressed source.

The Indus Basin aquifer of northwestern India and Pakistan is the second-most overstressed, and the Murzuk-Djado Basin in northern Africa is third, scientists said.

In drought-striken California, the Central Valley aquifer was labeled as “highly stressed.”

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