facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Thirsty countries threatening water supply

Aug. 9, 2012 at 5:41 PM   |   Comments

MONTREAL, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Some thirsty countries are consuming their groundwater reserves at a rate greater than the reserves can be renewed, a Canadian researchers says.

Writing in the journal Nature, study co-author Tom Gleeson of McGill University in Montreal and his colleagues identify India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Mexico and the United States as countries straining their groundwater supplies.

The researchers developed a "groundwater footprint" measure, comparing water coming in with water going out, to gauge how large an aquifer would need to be to sustain current withdrawal levels.

A groundwater "footprint" larger than the actual aquifer means people are using water faster that it can be replenished, treating it as a nonrenewable resource, Gleeson said.

Eighty percent of the world's aquifers are operating in a sustainable footprint, he said, but countries overtapping other aquifers are draining the world's water supply.

"It's not sustainable," Gleeson said. "We don't know how long the aquifers will last."

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
North Dakota forks over $3 million for mummified dinosaur North Dakota forks over $3 million for mummified dinosaur
2
Ancient Europeans couldn't drink milk for 5,000 years Ancient Europeans couldn't drink milk for 5,000 years
3
Solar eclipse will partially obscure the sun Thursday Solar eclipse will partially obscure the sun Thursday
4
New fossils help scientists reconstruct humpbacked dinosaur New fossils help scientists reconstruct humpbacked dinosaur
5
Mental rest and reflection key to better learning Mental rest and reflection key to better learning
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback