Tuesday, August 11, 2009

For the first time, satellite remote sensing of a 2000-kilometer swath running from eastern Pakistan across northern India and into Bangladesh has put a solid number on how quickly the region is depleting its groundwater. The number "is big," says hydrologist James Famiglietti of the University of California, Irvine--big as in 54 cubic kilometers of groundwater lost per year from the world's most intensively irrigated region hosting 600 million people. "I don't think anybody knew how quickly it was being depleted over that large an area."
groundwater was being pumped out 70% faster in this decade than the Central Ground Water Board of India estimated it was in the mid-1990s. The apparent surge in withdrawal would have been large enough to turn a once-stable water table into a falling one that demands ever-deeper wells and bigger pumps and may draw in salty or polluted water
The world's food production needs to double by 2050 to feed the world's growing population. But over this period, climate change, reduced access to water and changing land use are likely to make growing crops harder rather than easier.


Chaap said...

hey chinmay, -4 is that the worst? i.e. Nepal is doomed?


Chinmay said...

It would seem like the entire Nepal region, along with most of the north India is going to face severe problems.

I wouldn't say anyone is doomed though - depletion of groundwater can be solved in a very low tech way by improving local water catchment, and reducing the need for groundwater through efficient irrigation management.


blogger templates