Published in the Geophysical Review Letters, a new study by researchers in the Netherlands has shown that runoff and evaporation from worldwide depletion of groundwater accounts for about 25% of today’s rising sea levels.
The scientists reported that volumes of groundwater removal have more than doubled, from 99.7 million acre-feet in 1960 to 229.4 million in 2000. However, at the same time that groundwater use is contributing to sea level rise, it is also creating water shortages due to a general inability for water tables to be quickly
Dr. Peter H. Gleick, leading expert on water issues and president of the Oakland-based Pacific Institute in California, USA highlighted the inevitable dwindling of such sources as he said, “Forty percent of our groundwater withdrawals are coming from unsustainable sources of water. By definition, unsustainable means it can’t continue forever.”
The researchers concluded by stating that the effect on sea level rise is expected to diminish, but that is only because continued use at this rate will run the underground basins dry.
Dutch researchers and Dr. Gleick, we appreciate your highlighting the multitude of problems arising from unsustainable resource use. May we all strive for greater consciousness of our water footprint to live more harmoniously with nature.
During a February 2009 videoconference in Formosa (Taiwan), Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed the urgent need for humanity to tread more lightly on our fragile planet.