Groundwater levels have dropped in many places around the world in the past nine years, according to a pair of studies of satellite gravity monitoring data, Science News reports.
Access to freshwater resources has always been a critical need for human and all forms of life on Earth. [File photo]
Groundwater depletion is especially pronounced beneath parts of California, India, the Middle East and China, also including key agricultural areas, such as southern Argentina, western Australia and the western US, according to the results conducted by researchers at the University of California Center for Hydrologic Modeling in Irvine.
Besides showing that water is being pumped out of underground groundwater aquifers faster than it's being replenished, the results raise concerns that farming in particular is the primary cause.
Access to freshwater resources has always been a critical need for human and all forms of life on Earth. With a world population estimated at just shy of 7 billion and growing, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization says agricultural production will need to increase 70% by 2050.
As agriculture takes up most of human water use, that's going to put vastly greater demands and strains on our water resources at a time when climate change is changing temperature and precipitation levels and patterns in ways that cannot be predicted at local levels but are likely to make this even more difficult to achieve.