The threat to global water security is far worse than is commonly believed, as crucial supplies are dwindling fast in China, the US, India and other major economies, according to a prominent hydrologist.
The groundwater stored below the earth’s surface in soil and aquifers, which accounts for up to one-third of the water used globally, is being pumped out so rapidly in some of the driest regions that it can no longer be easily replenished naturally, Financial Times cited Professor Jay Famiglietti as saying.
Famiglietti is a senior water scientist at NASA’s jet propulsion laboratory at the California Institute of Technology.
“Many of the largest aquifers on most continents are being mined,” Famiglietti wrote in the latest edition of the journal Nature Climate Change, according to the report.
“Without a sustainable groundwater reserve, global water security is at a far greater risk than is currently recognized.”
The affected regions include the North China Plain, the High Plains and Central Valley aquifers in the US, Australia’s Canning Basin and the aquifers beneath northwestern India and the Middle East.
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