Conservation

Researchers Say Underground Water Reserves Being Depleted

Asia, North America overusing what's available.

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The world is depleting underground water reserves faster than they can be replenished due to over-exploitation, according to scientists in Canada and the Netherlands.

The researchers, from McGill University in Montreal and Utrecht University in the Netherlands, combined groundwater usage data from around the globe with computer models of underground water resources to come up with a measure of water usage relative to supply.

That measure shows the groundwater footprint—the area above ground that relies on water from underground sources—is about 3.5 times bigger than the aquifers themselves.