Groundwater Depletion Accelerates Sea-Level Rise

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Groundwater depletion will soon be as important a factor in
contributing to sea-level rise as the melting of glaciers other than
those in Greenland and Antarctica, scientists say.

That’s
because water pumped out of the ground for irrigation, industrial uses,
and even drinking must go somewhere after it’s used—and, whether it
runs directly into streams and rivers or evaporates and falls elsewhere
as rain, one likely place for it to end up is the ocean.

To find
out how much of an effect this has on sea level, a team of Dutch
scientists led by hydrologist Yoshihide Wada, a graduate student at
Utrecht University, divided the Earth’s land surface into 31-by-31-mile
(50-by-50 kilometer) squares on a grid to calculate present and future
groundwater usage.

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