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You are browsing the archive for groundwater depletion Archives - Water Underground.

September 28, 2017

Western water wells are going dry

We recently mapped groundwater wells across the 17 western states [1], where half of US groundwater pumping takes place.

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June 26, 2017

What is the difference between ‘water withdrawal’ and ‘water consumption’, and why do we need to know?

Last week I had to teach my first class in global hydrology. When I showed the global trend on increasing demands and withdrawals I needed to explain the different terms as sometimes the term “water use” gets, well, misused.

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December 20, 2016

Limits to global groundwater use

Post by WaterUnderground contributor Inge de Graaf. Inge is a postdoc fellow at Colorado School of Mines, in the USA. Groundwater is the world’s most important source of freshwater. It supplies 2 billion people with drinking water and is used for irrigation of the largest share of the world’s food supply. However, in many regions around the world, groundwater reserves are depleting as the resource is being pumped faster than it is …

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August 11, 2016

The great American groundwater road trip: Interstate 80 over the Ogallala Aquifer

  Authored by: Sam Zipper – Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison In late July, my wife and I loaded the dog into the car, cranked up the water-related tunes, and drove over a few million cubic meters of water. No, we haven’t traded in our sedan for an amphibious vehicle – rather, we were driving west, across Nebraska, on the …

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June 15, 2016

Protecting springs from groundwater extraction: is a ‘drawdown trigger’ a sensible strategy?

By Matthew Currell – Senior Lecturer at RMIT University Springs, some of which have been flowing for hundreds of thousands of years, have been disappearing in Australia due to human water use over the past century. Following a hotly contested court case, Australia’s Environment Minister imposed a 20cm ‘drawdown limit’ at a set of springs, to protect them from a proposed coal mine. However, this ignores a fundamental principle of hydrogeology, known …

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June 8, 2016

Human Drought?

By Anne Van Loon – a water science lecturer at the University of Birmingham Recently I published a commentary in Nature Geoscience with the title ‘Drought in the Anthropocene’. In that commentary, my co-authors and I argued that in the current human-dominated world, we cannot study and manage natural drought processes separately from human influences on the water system like water abstraction, dam building, land use change, water management, etc. To fully integrate …

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