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Demand for water outstrips supply
Amanda Mascarelli, Nature.com
Almost one-quarter of the world’s population lives in regions where groundwater is being used up faster than it can be replenished, concludes a comprehensive global analysis of groundwater depletion, published this week in Nature1.
Across the world, human civilizations depend largely on tapping vast reservoirs of water that have been stored for up to thousands of years in sand, clay and rock deep underground. These massive aquifers — which in some cases stretch across multiple states and country borders — provide water for drinking and crop irrigation, as well as to support ecosystems such as forests and fisheries.
Yet in most of the world’s major agricultural regions, including the Central Valley in California, the Nile delta region of Egypt, and the Upper Ganges in India and Pakistan, demand exceeds these reservoirs' capacity for renewal.
“This overuse can lead to decreased groundwater availability for both drinking water and growing food,” says Tom Gleeson, a hydrogeologist at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, and lead author of the study. Eventually, he adds, it “can lead to dried up streams and ecological impacts”...
(8 August 2012)
Link to abstact
Jordan’s Crippled Water Resources Protected by Security
Laurie Balbo, Green Prophet
Jordan is dealing with an increase in water theft. Ironically, as I type, I am awaiting a water truck arrival to refill our new apartment’s tank: I’d jumped in the shower, turned the knobs, and was met with – nothing. Landlord says it’s been three weeks since the city pumped water to the roof tanks, and the situation seems to be city-wide.
Now it makes sense why people would be breaking into the system. Mark my words, water is the new oil.
Representatives of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, the Ministry of Interior and the Public Security Department (PSD) met last week to address the rising number of violations on water wells and pipelines. The water protection campaign was announced soon afterwards: start date unspecified due to security reasons...
(6 August 2012)
Drought dries up stretch of Platte River, slows barges on lower Mississippi
Miguel Llanos, NBC News
It's not just on land where drought is taking a toll: a 100-mile stretch of the Platte River has dried up, while barges along the lower Mississippi are having to carry less cargo in order to navigate shallower water.
The Mississippi impact is one that goes far beyond the immediate area: About 60 percent of the nation's grain, 22 percent of its oil and gas, and 20 percent of the nation's coal goes down the river. Lighter barges mean longer waits for those products.
The Army Corps of Engineers is tasked with dredging parts of the river where barges ground, and business is booming.
(3 August 2012)