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NASA: Earth's Water is Being Depleted

According to satellite data from NASA, humanity is facing a water crisis - some of the largest aquifers on Earth have begun drying up.

Researchers from the University of California, Irvine, say that it's not fully clear how much underground water is available in the water-bearing layers but what is known is that people waste perfectly good drinking water.

The problem is expected to worsen due to climate changes and the rise in population, warn experts in front of The New York Times.

From satellite pictures of the NASA's twin satellites GRACE, scientists now see that the most vulnerable regions, which in all likelihood will be the first to suffer from a permanent drought, are the densely populated regions of the Near East, California's Central Valley, India, Pakistan and a large part of the countries in Africa.

The Arabian aquifer system, that nearly 60 million people use, is the most overused and emergency measures need to be taken there. The situation is also serious in California's Central Valley, where there are numerous farms.

Satellite

According to the conclusions, 21 out of 37 of the largest aquifers in the world, from India and China to the US and France, have gone beyond the limits of sustainable use of groundwater. This means that more water is being used than can be replenished in the given regions.

Scientists remind that the problem of water on Earth is nothing new but the pictures from GRACE are the first proof of their kind, showing that water reserves are disappearing due to farming, a growing population and mining.

The GRACE twin satellites were launched in 2002, their mission being to map the gravitational field of the Earth. The 2 satellites are in orbit 310 miles (500 km) above the surface of the Earth.

The equipment onboard react to the distribution of mass in the Earth and Earth's surface - the greater the mass, the greater the gravitational pull in that area.

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