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Fresh water demand driving sea-level rise faster than glacier melt

May 21, 2012

Full Article at http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/may/20/world-aquifers-rising-sea-levels?intcmp=122

By Damian Carrington

Humanity’s unquenchable thirst for fresh water is driving up sea levels even faster than melting glaciers, according to new research. The massive impact of the global population’s growing need for water on rising sea levels is revealed in a comprehensive assessment of all the ways in which people use water.

Trillions of tonnes of water have been pumped up from deep underground reservoirs in every part of the world and then channelled into fields and pipes to keep communities fed and watered. The water then flows into the oceans, but far more quickly than the ancient aquifers are replenished by rains. The global tide would be rising even more quickly but for the fact that man-made reservoirs have, until now, held back the flow by storing huge amounts of water on land.

“The water being taken from deep wells is geologically old – there is no replenishment and so it is a one way transfer into the ocean,” said sea level expert Prof Robert Nicholls, at the University of Southampton.

Full Article at http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/may/20/world-aquifers-rising-sea-levels?intcmp=122

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