Humanity’s impact upon the Earth has been blamed for the destruction of the rain forests, pollution in the atmosphere, global warming, melting icecaps, and many more issues than can be counted on both hands. Despite the heightened awareness for such issues, various conservation efforts seem to have little impact on the overall problems, and new issues pop up all the time. The newest global warming report released by NASA says that it threatens an impact on all of humanity, as they report that the Earth is beginning to run out of water, specifically freshwater.
According to News Limited in Australia, humanity’s use of water from the 37 major aquifers in the Earth has led to the drainage of nearly 33 percent of the water sources that supply drinking water to the planet. The actual amount of remaining groundwater in the aquifers is unknown, which leads to potentially dangerous and deadly circumstances as the depletion nears and plans to acquire drinkable water are not prepared properly and with enough time to enact. Jay Fanglietti works for the University of California, Irvine, as a professor and as a senior water scientist at NASA’s jet propulsion laboratory. He fears that without a coordinated effort, the Earth could easily begin to resemble the circumstances depicted in the Mad Max movies.
“Available physical and chemical measurements are simply insufficient. Given how quickly we are consuming the world’s groundwater reserves, we need a coordinated global effort to determine how much is left.”
The Washington Post reports that of the 37 major aquifers, 21 have passed the point of sustainability. Fanglietti shared his concern by saying, “the situation is quite critical,” since the aquifers supply nearly 35 percent of the planet’s water supply for drinking and other uses by humans.
NASA’s GRACE satellites were used to measure the water supply and reach the conclusion of how drastic the situation has become. However, the satellites do have limited capability in determining just how large the supply of underground water is, which does leave the disappearing ground water open for debate.
California’s drought has been the most prevalent case of low water tables in the news, as residents of the state work diligently to conserve the water they have in lieu of watering lawns and filling pools.
Although some of the water used does siphon back into the aquifers, such as the water that is consumed, used to irrigate crops, or used in emergency scenarios such as fires, much more evaporates into the atmosphere and much of it ends up in the oceans, where it mixes with the salt water and becomes undrinkable.
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