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GRACE Sees Groundwater Losses Around the World


knocker
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Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    NASAs Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) has measured significant groundwater depletion around the world in recent years. These animations show trends in total water storage from Jan. 2003 to Dec. 2009 as measured by GRACE, depicting accumulated groundwater losses over time in Australia, Californias Central Valley and the Middle East, and monthly anomalies in total water storage over the same timeframe in the Indian Subcontinent

     

     

    I should add significant ground water finds have been made in Kenya.

     

    http://www.unesco.org/new/en/media-services/single-view/news/strategic_groundwater_reserves_found_in_northern_kenya/#.UnZhUVOvOpA

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    Posted
  • Location: Pant, Shropshire
  • Weather Preferences: Cold and snow, atlantic storms, hot sun and thunderstorms
  • Location: Pant, Shropshire

    Brilliant stuff this Knocker, as a Hydrogeologist I find the GRACE imagery very exciting and the variations in India especially very interesting.  It would be interesting to understand how much is climatic induced variation and how much is anthropogenic.

     

    M

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    Posted
  • Location: Mostly Watford but 3 months of the year at Capestang 34310, France
  • Weather Preferences: Continental type climate with lots of sunshine with occasional storm
  • Location: Mostly Watford but 3 months of the year at Capestang 34310, France

    I quite believe it and I suspect that the depletion of the aquifers is mainly caused by man's extraction of water that has been there in many cases for thousands of years - one day at this rate water will become more important than oil - we really need to explore the possibility of developing desalination plants powered by sustainable power - my favourite being solar power because usually there is plenty of it I the drier regions.

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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    I quite believe it and I suspect that the depletion of the aquifers is mainly caused by man's extraction of water that has been there in many cases for thousands of years - one day at this rate water will become more important than oil - we really need to explore the possibility of developing desalination plants powered by sustainable power - my favourite being solar power because usually there is plenty of it I the drier regions.

     

    I suspect it already is Mike in some parts of the world. And not only the obvious like the Middle East.

     

    A Texan tragedy: ample oil, no water

    Fracking boom sucks away precious water from beneath the ground, leaving cattle dead, farms bone-dry and people thirsty

     

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/11/texas-tragedy-ample-oil-no-water

    Brilliant stuff this Knocker, as a Hydrogeologist I find the GRACE imagery very exciting and the variations in India especially very interesting.  It would be interesting to understand how much is climatic induced variation and how much is anthropogenic.

     

    M

     

    Might this be connected to the monsoon in in India moomin?

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    Posted
  • Location: Pant, Shropshire
  • Weather Preferences: Cold and snow, atlantic storms, hot sun and thunderstorms
  • Location: Pant, Shropshire

    I suspect it already is Mike in some parts of the world. And not only the obvious like the Middle East.

     

    A Texan tragedy: ample oil, no water

    Fracking boom sucks away precious water from beneath the ground, leaving cattle dead, farms bone-dry and people thirsty

     

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/11/texas-tragedy-ample-oil-no-water

     

    Might this be connected to the monsoon in in India moomin?

    I fired that reply off very quickly and didn't quite say what I was trying to say! it is quite probably monsoon for India with apparently very permeable aquifers looking at the response.  I was thinking more in terms of the Australian changes, I didn't think there was a huge amount of abstraction in the outback.  Interestingly, and in response to Mike's point, it isn't just over abstraction that is having a negative effect on the UK's aquifers, theres a growing problem of reduced infiltration rates as a result of urbanisation, tarmac and hardstanding coupled with efficient drainage systems is diverting rainfall straight into surface water systems bypassing groundwater.  It seems this is most pronounced in the SE of the UK which makes it even worse due to that area's dependence on groundwater.  I do believe that water will become globally as valuable as oil, if not more valuable and as with energy it comes down to learning to use it more efficiently as well as developing alternative ways of obtaining it.

     

    Moomin

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    Posted
  • Location: Mostly Watford but 3 months of the year at Capestang 34310, France
  • Weather Preferences: Continental type climate with lots of sunshine with occasional storm
  • Location: Mostly Watford but 3 months of the year at Capestang 34310, France

    I fired that reply off very quickly and didn't quite say what I was trying to say! it is quite probably monsoon for India with apparently very permeable aquifers looking at the response.  I was thinking more in terms of the Australian changes, I didn't think there was a huge amount of abstraction in the outback.  Interestingly, and in response to Mike's point, it isn't just over abstraction that is having a negative effect on the UK's aquifers, theres a growing problem of reduced infiltration rates as a result of urbanisation, tarmac and hardstanding coupled with efficient drainage systems is diverting rainfall straight into surface water systems bypassing groundwater.  It seems this is most pronounced in the SE of the UK which makes it even worse due to that area's dependence on groundwater.  I do believe that water will become globally as valuable as oil, if not more valuable and as with energy it comes down to learning to use it more efficiently as well as developing alternative ways of obtaining it.

     

    Moomin

    Moomin,

     

    You have a valid point about SE England where the increased urbanisation paradoxically increases the prospects of floods and droughts because more water stays on the surface - perhaps what we should do here is to build the large cisterns such as they have in Holland which will take away excess surface water and provide reservoirs at the same time.

     

    As far as the Australian outback is concerned, although it is more industrialised now, the barriers preventing water seeping into the sub soil could only represent a minute fraction of what is a vast area but here as well as in other areas around the Pacific, even as far as the Indian sub continent I wonder how much the La Nina and El Nino events are having an effect - the clip only showed a time span of a few years, so I wonder what these events were doing and in any case it is going to take time for water on the surface to get down to the aquifers. As far as the Indian sub continent is concerned increases in population is bound to have an effect on abstraction and forest clearances plus urbanisation are not going to help either.

     

    In short in a lot of cases we need to find ways to stop the speed of the progress of the water falling on the land and travelling on its journey to the sea to allow it to filter into the soil and reach the aquifers.  

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    Posted
  • Location: Mostly Watford but 3 months of the year at Capestang 34310, France
  • Weather Preferences: Continental type climate with lots of sunshine with occasional storm
  • Location: Mostly Watford but 3 months of the year at Capestang 34310, France

    I suspect it already is Mike in some parts of the world. And not only the obvious like the Middle East.

     

    A Texan tragedy: ample oil, no water

    Fracking boom sucks away precious water from beneath the ground, leaving cattle dead, farms bone-dry and people thirsty

     

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/11/texas-tragedy-ample-oil-no-water

     

    Here we have two opposing ideas, the first being to develop an independence in energy supplies so we do not have to rely on politically unstable regions, then on the other hand we have the depletion of ground water caused by this fracking. To prioritise, water has to take precedence over energy since it is more vital for survival but at the same time for a modern society to function properly we must have power - the biggest problem is that we have too many people in the world which are putting strains on resources but to alter that situation barring any calamities will most likely take centuries, so our recourse is to try and make the best of what we have already whilst at the same time invest a lot more into research into sustainable energy so we are less reliant on imported fossil fuels.

     

    What with one thing and another we have got the world into a bit of mess and getting out of it ain't going to be easy when you consider the capriciousness of human nature but that should be our target.

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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    I fired that reply off very quickly and didn't quite say what I was trying to say! it is quite probably monsoon for India with apparently very permeable aquifers looking at the response.  I was thinking more in terms of the Australian changes, I didn't think there was a huge amount of abstraction in the outback.  Interestingly, and in response to Mike's point, it isn't just over abstraction that is having a negative effect on the UK's aquifers, theres a growing problem of reduced infiltration rates as a result of urbanisation, tarmac and hardstanding coupled with efficient drainage systems is diverting rainfall straight into surface water systems bypassing groundwater.  It seems this is most pronounced in the SE of the UK which makes it even worse due to that area's dependence on groundwater.  I do believe that water will become globally as valuable as oil, if not more valuable and as with energy it comes down to learning to use it more efficiently as well as developing alternative ways of obtaining it.

     

    Moomin

     

    Abstraction seems to having an extrememy negative effect on the massive Ogallala aquifer in the US and it is one of the most agriculturally important water sources in America. Of course it's a knock on effect. The drier it is the more slowly it's replenished and at the sametime more ground water is needed. The water table has dropped an astonishing 100 feet in some places.

     

    http://hrd.apec.org/index.php/The_Ogallala_Aquifer_and_Its_Role_as_a_Threatened_American_Resource

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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    NASA's GRACE satellites show decade of declining water reserves

    Adapting to climate change will require more than fortifying coastlines and preparing for warmer temperatures. It will require a careful look at how we manage our water resources. Nearly a decade of observations from the twin GRACE satellites shows that some parts of the United States could face hard times in coming years.

     

     

    http://climate.nasa.gov/news/995

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