The world is running out of water
The headlines read,‘The world is running out of water’ and then 5 minutes later, the South East of England is brought to a halt under two feet of surplus water. So just what are the experts saying, and should we believe them?
The alarming news comes straight from the world’s most influential scientists at NASA. According to gravitational data collected from the GRACE satellite system, it shows that the largest aquifers are slowly, but steadily being bled dry.
NASA scientist Matthew Rodell goes to far as to say: “If we continue with our current consumption practices, people and farmers that rely on this water won’t have it anymore.”
Are we to believe the hype?
The facts are that of the world’s 37 largest aquifers, 21 of them located in France, United States, India and China are already suffering from an imbalance in supply and demand. Over a ten year period, results have shown that there has been more water removed than has been added, with the situation now being labelled ‘critical’.
With underground aquifers supplying 35 percent of the water we use, this level almost doubles in areas affected by drought. With global warming at a constant escalation, the experts are predicting that soon all water in drought affected areas will be supplied by aquifers.
Water table levels
With all water supplies originating from rainwater, an over stressed aquifer can take thousands of years to refill from sporadic rainfall. As drilling has intensified all over the globe. the water table levels are causing widespread panic amongst industry technicians.
The use of the aquifers is a direct cause on the state of its health. In Australia, the country’s western Canning Basin has the third-highest rate of exhaustion in the world. On the opposite side, the east Great Artesian Basin has one of the most substantial. The difference comes down to the water-intensive projects being undertaken close to the basin such as:
- Gold mining
- Iron ore mining
- Oil drilling
- Gas drilling
It is these foraging expeditions that have caused the Arabian Aquifer to be given the unenviable title of ‘World’s most stressed aquifer’. This singular water source is the lifesource for more than 60 million people and dozens of industries, and if things don’t change on a consumer level then the water shortage problem will only get worse.
What can we do to stop the slide?
It is everyone’s responsibility to conserve water as much as possible, and although we may not be able to halt or reduce the gold and oil mining projects, we can do our bit.
- Don’t drink bottled water, drink tap water fitted with a water filter. Bottled water production tends to come from drought-ridden areas, thus encouraging unsustainable water extraction levels.
- Eat less meat, as research shows that producing cattle for beef and cows for milk utilises up to 15 times more water than it does to produce plant products.
- Monitor your usage around the house and office and implement water saving ideas into your lifestyle
- Teach your children to be aware of their own water usage and get them into good habits early on.
We all flinch at the sight of people and animals desperately suffering from lack of water, so let’s ensure it stops right now.
[Photo by geralt]