Freshwater plunge

News Today 26.07.2022

The Earth is a closed system, meaning that very little matter, including water, ever leaves or enters the atmosphere. Its water is finite, meaning that the amount of water in, on and above the planet does not increase or decrease. Water that was here billions of years ago is still here now. In photographs taken from space, one can see that 71 per cent of our planet’s surface is covered with water. Hence, the Earth is called the ‘Blue Planet’. The abundance of water is distributed in different forms ~ Ocean water: 97.2 per cent; Glaciers and other ice: 2.0 per cent; Ground water: 0.62 per cent; freshwater lakes: 0.009 per cent; Inland seas/salt lakes: 0.008 per cent; Soil moisture: 0.005 per cent; Atmosphere: 0.001 per cent, and rivers: 0.0001 percent. Intransigent, obdurate, intractable, perverse ~ these and similar words are commonly used and are often suitable descriptions of freshwater in today’s world. (Read More)

Most of the water used by humans comes from rivers. The visible bodies of water are referred to as surface water. The majority of fresh water, 98 per cent of the Earth’s available freshwater, is found underground as soil moisture and in aquifers. Until recently, Groundwater was not a highly utilised resource. In the 1960s, more and more GW aquifers developed. Changes in knowledge, technology and funding have allowed focussed development into abstracting water from GW resources, away from surface water resources. These changes allowed for progress in society such as the ‘agricultural GW revolution’, expanding the irrigation sector allowing for increased food production and development in rural areas. GW supplies nearly half of all drinking water in the world. It is estimated that 85 per cent of the rural and 50 per cent of the urban population in India is dependent on GW for fulfilling needs. India is by far the world’s largest user of GW, withdrawing an estimated 251 cubic kilometres per year, more than twice that of the United States, the country with the second highest quantity of withdrawal. (Read More)


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