According to a new study conducted by researchers at UC Irvine, humanity is draining the Earth’s groundwater at an alarming rate.
The study was conducted using data collected by NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment satellites.
The scientists said they don’t know exactly how much water there is in the groundwater basins, but they do know that most of the Earth’s population is actually consuming large amounts of groundwater without being aware of the risk that it can run out eventually.
The researchers published their findings today in the journal Water Resources Research.
Jay Famiglietti, UCI professor and water scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, explained that the physical and chemical measurements that are available today are not enough to determine how much of Earth’s groundwater we have consumed and how much is left.
Famiglietti said that the researchers need a coordinated global effort to help them determine how much groundwater there is in the Earth’s basins.
The new study is the first of its kind to determine groundwater losses based on data collected from space.
It’s also the first research to use readings made by NASA’s GRACE satellites, which can measure the bumps and dips in the Earth’s gravity, which is known to be affected by the water’s weight.
For one of the studies, the scientists analyzed the 37 largest aquifers on Earth for 10 years, between 2003 and 2013.
The study found the eight of these aquifers were the most stressed.
Five more were found to be extremely or very stressed, but had some water still flowing into them.
But the most stressed are the ones in the driest areas of the world, which rely heavily on the water coming from the ground.
According to the experts, climate change and over population are making things worse and for the Earth’s groundwater supply.
Alexandra Richey, doctoral student at UCI, is concerned about what will happen when an aquifer located in a region where there are political and socioeconomic tensions is highly stressed and cannot supplement the water supply fast enough.
According to the new studies, Arabian Aquifer System is the most overstressed aquifer in the world.
Image Source: gulf-times