Just published: a new tool to measure worldwide groundwater sustainability

Dr. Tom Gleeson, at McGill University, along with his colleagues, has recently published on a new way to measure groundwater – what they refer to as a groundwater footprint . There are links to more of the media coverage here including newspapers, podcasts, etc.

Here is a bit from the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), where Dr. Gleeson is a Junior Fellow:

“Scientists develop a new tool to measure worldwide groundwater sustainability

Groundwater is a life-sustaining resource for both humans and the environment, yet according to scientists, precious groundwater aquifers are being depleted at rates that are unsustainable on both a regional and global scale.

In a recent study published in Nature, Junior Fellow Tom Gleeson (McGill) and colleagues found that humans are overexploiting groundwater in many large aquifers critical to agriculture.

By combining data on groundwater use with current hydrology models, the team created a new way to measure global water use relative to water supply, which they call the ‘groundwater footprint’. The team found that certain countries, including the United States, China, Pakistan, Iran, India, Mexico and Saudi Arabia, greatly overused the groundwater available to them. This overexploitation by a few nations managed to drive up the global net value of the groundwater footprint…”

You can read more of this report from CIFAR here.

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