There are several factors that are increasing the pressure and drawdown of these fossil reserves. Climate change which is expected to change rainfall patterns and increase evaporation will increase pressure to source groundwater. Already the drought in California is forcing more dependence on groundwater with the result that the levels are dropping quite rapidly. Some of the drawdowns in other areas have been quite spectacular. The High Plains Aquifer in Texas has dropped 50m since being accessed in the 1940s. The Nubian aquifer in N. Africa has dropped 60m since records were kept.
Not only climate change affects our exploitation of groundwater. Agricultural practises, industries, mining including fracking all take their toll. The exponential increase in the human population this last century has put pressure on supplies.
There are stopgap measures to combat a temporary drought, but history is full of accounts of civilizations that have disappeared along with their water sources. Currently it is some of the world’s poorest people who depend most heavily on ground water and are drawing down their resources most rapidly.
The Arabian Aquifer which serves 60 million people is listed as the most stressed, followed by the Indus Basin in northern India and Pakistan and the Murzuk-Djado Basin in Libya and Niger.
People cannot survive without adequate water.
Related reading at NEWTEK:
California faces emergency drought regulations
Taiwan coping with severe drought
History making mandatory water restrictions California
Drought on Vancouver Island ups fire risk
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