NASA Warns That World’s Aquifers Are Drying Up

Water Advocate Sharon Kleyne Calls Attention to NASA Water Crisis Findings. Sharon Kleyne Says UN Must Do More Than It Is Doing About Water Crisis.

Sharon Kleyne, like water advocates everywhere, is happy to see NASA weigh in on the world’s water crisis with its advanced research and technology, but the actual findings are disturbing. “NASA’s findings,” said Kleyne, “underscore the need for more education about water and the process of water evaporation and for the United Nations do more about the world’s water crisis than just talk and spend grant money.”

According to NASA satellite data, twenty-one of the world’s 37 largest aquifers “have passed their sustainability tipping points, meaning more water was removed than replaced during the decade-long study period.” Unfortunately, researchers concluded that this is a global problem that appears to be getting worse, not better. In fact, 15 of the aquifers were categorized as critical. Reporting on the study, Todd C. Frankel wrote that “Scientists had long suspected that humans were taxing the world’s underground water supply, but the NASA data was the first detailed assessment to demonstrate that major aquifers were indeed struggling to keep pace with demands from agriculture, growing populations and industries such as mining.”

“The situation is quite critical,” said Jay Famiglietti, senior water scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California and principal investigator of the University of California Irvine-led studies. Aquifers supply 35% of the water used by humans and that percentage spikes in times of drought. For instance, during California’s drought, aquifer water use climbed to 60 percent. “The water table is dropping all over the world,” Famiglietti said. “There’s not an infinite supply of water.” Famiglietti went on to say that our problems with ground water are made worse by global warming. People who live in the mid-range latitudes pump more water out of aquifers to deal with dry conditions. Once that water is pumped from the ground, evaporates and gets recirculated to areas farther north and south.

Scientists also say that steps to reverse this situation may be too little, too late. They point to California where the Central Valley aquifer is the most troubled aquifer in the U.S. It’s being drained to irrigate farm fields. The state passed is first extensive groundwater regulations in 2014, but t could take two decades before the new law takes full effect. By then, the aquifer may be empty.

Such dire forecasts urge Kleyne, founder of Bio-Logic Aqua® Research Water Life Science®, and others to call on the UN to become much more proactive about water education and research. “The UN also needs to get into the fields and do something about all of the lost groundwater that is running off to the oceans,” said Kleyne. Kleyne knows that replenishing an aquifer is a slow process, sometimes taking thousands of years. “We have to start now,” said Kleyne, “or we will soon be dry.” Kleyne also calls for new, advanced water technology to make use of recently discovered, untapped aquifers in Africa and deep under California’s Central Valley.


Would you like to share your thoughts on our diminishing aquifers around the world, water evaporation, water research and new technology? Have you had problems getting and using clean water? Do you think NASA’s conclusions are accurate? Do you think that the UN is doing enough to solve humanity’s water problems? If you have comments or stories you’d like to share, we’d like very much to hear from you! You can reach us in the following ways. 800-367-6478 ~ Fax 541-474-2123 or on Twitter at @sharonkleynehr