Help, we’re sinking! And the worst part is, we’re on dry land… from the Center for Investigative Reporting:
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Pump too much groundwater and wells go dry – that’s obvious.
But there is another consequence that gets little attention as a hotter, drier planet turns increasingly to groundwater for life support.
So much water is being pumped out of the ground worldwide that it is contributing to global sea level rise, a phenomenon tied largely to warming temperatures and climate change.
It happens when water is hoisted out of the earth to irrigate crops and supply towns and cities, then finds its way via rivers and other pathways into the world’s oceans. Since 1900, some 4,500 cubic kilometers of groundwater around the world – enough to fill Lake Tahoe 30 times – have done just that.
“Long-term groundwater depletion represents a large transfer of water from the continents to the oceans,” Konikow wrote earlier this year in one article.