Aquifer Depletion

Plan B Updates -- Water Shortages Threaten Food Future in the Arab Middle East*

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Lester R. Brown
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Long after the political uprisings in the Middle East have subsided, many underlying challenges that are not now in the news will remain. Prominent among these are rapid population growth, spreading water shortages, and ever growing food insecurity.
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World On The Edge: Quick Facts

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January 25, 2011

We are facing issues of near-overwhelming complexity and unprecedented urgency. Can we think systemically and fashion policies accordingly? Can we change direction before we go over the edge? Here are a few of the many facts from the book to consider:

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Shaping The Future Of The High Plains’ Water Supply

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Contact: Layne Cameron, University Relations, Office: (517) 353-8819, Cell: (765) 748-4827, layne.cameron@ur.msu.edu; David Hyndman, Geological Sciences, Office: (517) 353-4442, ... Read more about Shaping The Future Of The High Plains’ Water Supply

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Groundwater Depletion Rate Accelerating Worldwide

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ScienceDaily (Sep. 23, 2010) — In recent decades, the rate at which humans worldwide are pumping dry the vast underground stores of water that billions depend on has more than doubled, say scientists who have conducted an unusual, global assessment of groundwater use.

Global map of groundwater depletion, measured in cubic meters of water per year. (Credit: Image courtesy of American Geophysical Union) ... Read more about Groundwater Depletion Rate Accelerating Worldwide

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More Than One Out Of Three U.S. Counties Face Water Shortages Due To Climate Change

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Greatest Risks Seen in 14 States: AZ, AR, CA, CO, FL, ID, KS, MS, MT, NE, NV, NM, OK and TX;WASHINGTON (July 20, 2010) -- More than 1,100 U.S. counties -- a full one-third of all counties in the lower 48 states -- now face higher risks of water shortages by mid-century as the result of global warming, and more than 400 of these counties will be at extremely high risk for water shortages, based on estimates from a new report by Tetra Tech for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

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Salt Killing Crops, Driving Migration In Storm-Hit Southern Bangladesh

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Written by: AlertNet correspondentBangladeshi farmers plant rice in a field at Keraniganj on January 16, 2008. Worsening soil and water salinity is killing crops and driving migration in southern Bangladesh. REUTERS/Rafiqur Rahman 

By Syful Islam DHAKA, Bangladesh (AlertNet) - Worsening sea water storm surges and overuse of irrigation have left fields, wells and ponds in parts of southern Bangladesh too salty to grow crops, leading to a growing exodus of farmers from the region. ... Read more about Salt Killing Crops, Driving Migration In Storm-Hit Southern Bangladesh

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Water Scarcity Becoming A Critical Issue For The Arab World – UN Report

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16 March 2010 – Climate change, food insecurity, decreasing water availability and unemployment are among the multiple challenges facing the Arab region, according to a new assessment by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) which calls for rational and sustainable use of resources and inclusion of the environment issues in decision making.

“This assessment has been a truly collaborative one outlining the progress but also the realities facing this ... Read more about Water Scarcity Becoming A Critical Issue For The Arab World – UN Report

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European Water Mission Lifts Off

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A European satellite is set to provide major new insights into how water is cycled around the Earth. The Smos spacecraft will make the first global maps of the amount of moisture held in soils and of the quantity of salts dissolved in the oceans. The data will have wide uses but should improve weather forecasts and warnings of extreme events, such as floods. Miras will measure changes in the wetness of the land and in the salinity of seawater by observing variations in the natural ... ... Read more about European Water Mission Lifts Off

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Could Food Shortages Bring Down Civilization?

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“In early 2008, Saudi Arabia announced that, after being self-sufficient in wheat for over 20 years, the non-replenishable aquifer it had been pumping for irrigation was largely depleted,” writes Lester R. Brown in his new book, Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization (W.W. Norton & Company). “In response, officials said they would reduce their wheat harvest by one eighth each year until production would cease entirely in 2016. ... Read more about Could Food Shortages Bring Down Civilization?

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