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 is being removed than replaced from these vital underground reservoirs. Thirteen of 37 aquifers fell at rates that put them into the most troubled category.NASA GRACE Aquifer water supply study: We’re running out of water | BGR
“The situation is quite critical,” said Jay Famiglietti, senior water scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of California Irvine-led studies’ principal investigator.
And it’s difficult to see it getting better soon. These groundwater reserves take thousands of years to accumulate and only slowly recharge with water from snowmelt and rains. Now, as drilling for water has taken off across the globe, the hidden water reservoirs are being stressed. Underground aquifers supply 35 percent of the water used by humans worldwide. Demand is even greater in times of drought. Rain-starved California is currently tapping aquifers for 60 percent of its water use, up from the usual 40 percent.
It’s not happening today or tomorrow, but we’re slowly running out of water, new NASA data shows. Looking down at the planet using its GRACE satellites over a period of ten years, the researchers at NASA discovered that more than half of Earth’s 37 largest aquifers are being depleted at an alarming rate, far faster than they can be replenished.DON’T MISS: TWC is About to be Sued for Violating Net Neutrality Rules and Holding Traffic for RansomAquifers are underground sources of water used by hundreds of millions of people. 21 of them have apparently passed their sustainability tipping points, which means that more water has been removed than replenished during from 2003 to 2013. The Arabian Aquifer is the most stressed one, serving more than 60 million people.