Project Syndicate: Where Has All the Water Gone?

Water is a limited resource for a global population that has tripled over the last 60 years. In an essay for Project Syndicate, Yasmin Siddiqi of the Asian Development Bank focuses subterranean aquifers that store water underground and supply about 30 percent of the world’s liquid freshwater, but many of these ancient sources cannot quickly be replenished. “Surface water resources, such as desalinated seawater or recycled wastewater, will not close the global gap – predicted to reach 40% by 2030 – between water supply and demand,” she writes. “So subterranean aquifers are increasingly being exploited for agriculture, power generation, and daily use in fast-growing cities.” Aquifer problems include deeper drilling and over-pumping, raising water-needy crops in dry regions, rising seas and saltwater contamination. Siddiqi urges accurate monitoring of water use, noting that a NASA program details changes in earth gravity due to fluctuating water volumes. Other recommendations include smart pricing and policies, elimination of subsidies of industries that pollute water, and programs to divert floodwaters for replenishing aquifers. She concludes, “Subterranean aquifers should be the reservoir of last resort.” – YaleGlobal

Project Syndicate: Where Has All the Water Gone?

Fast-growing population may be over-reliant on subterranean aquifers that supply 30 percent of the world’s liquid freshwater, but do not replenish quickly
Yasmin Siddiqi
Friday, March 24, 2017

Read the article.

Yasmin Siddiqi is principal water resources specialist at the Asian Development Bank.

© 1995 – 2017 Project Syndicate

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