Why is groundwater overused?
Ashish Gupta has given a correct answer. You can also refer to the following link:
- Groundwater is overused due to overpopulation in certain areas where the water supply is limited and due to lack of conservation. An area may have plenty of groundwater below it, however not all of it may be use-able. Groundwater near the surface is more susceptible to anthropogenic pollutants, but deeper groundwater is generally older and may be brine water.
- This water, if not contaminated, have minerals and other natural components, which make it suitable for further use in irrigation systems, agro-industries in general, consumption of animal and human, after being treated properly.
Groundwater is overused due to overpopulation in certain areas where the water supply is limited and due to lack of conservation. An area may have plenty of groundwater below it, however not all of it may be use-able. Groundwater near the surface is more susceptible to anthropogenic pollutants, but deeper groundwater is generally older and may be brine water.
The ways to conserve groundwater are teh same as conserving any water supply. These are just the ones off the top of my head, I'm sure there are lots more:
-Making sure there are no plumbing leaks, leaky faucets can add up to a lot of water wasted.
-Chose toilets that are low flow (I like the toilets with 2 flush options) Some people like to take on the motto If it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flush it done. I personally have not yet embraced that motto yet.....
-When you replace appliances chose water efficient ones.
-Take short showers instead of baths
-Landscape your yard so that it is conducive to the environment and climate you live in. Having a lush green yard in the desert southwest just does not make sense. Chose native plants, they will do much better and should not require watering, no matter where you live.
-If possible, use household gray water to water your landscaping. Grey water is water that has been used for for showers, laundry, etc. (basically any water other than toilet water.)
-And of course, try to minimize the anthropogenic sources of contaminants that threaten our water supplies. Support efforts to ban products like MTBE (a gasoline oxidizer, which in small amounts can destroy a water supply. Ethanol can be used in its place, and I believe it is the oxidizer used in most of the midwest)
A recent study found underground water is being exploited faster than it can be replenished in many Asian nations. — VNS File Photo
Bali — The overuse of ground water resources is becoming a huge threat to Asian nations, warned environmental experts at a seminar in Bali, Indonesia.
Professor Brahma Chellaney, from the India-based Strategic Studies Centre for Policy Research, said underground water in Asia is being pumped to the surface at such a high rate that the ground water can not be replenished by rain.
"Over-exploitation of aquifers will affect ecosystems, and in turn accelerate global warming," said Dr Chellaney, speaking at the two-day seminar on the strategic Importance of water in Asia.
The seminar, organised by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAF)last week, aimed to help Asian journalists specialising in environmental issues to better understand the current water shortage in Asia and the ramifications for the future.
An example of the immediate results of ground water overuse was raised by Julian Gearing, correspondent for Asia Times in Bangkok, who said one of the reasons why pavements and sidewalks in Bangkok were sinking was overuse of aquifers.
"A majority of people in Bangkok rely on piped water and don’t
pump water from wells," said Gearing. "They are not aware of the strain being put on the aquifers largely by large and small-scale industry."
Dr Chellaney said rapid urban expansion in China’s capital Beijing, with a population of 17 million, was exhausting the local water supply.
More than two-thirds of Beijing’s water supply is now pumped from subterranean reserves.
In addition to concerns over the over-exploitation of underground water, pollution is also presenting another formidable challenge as levels of heavy metals and arsenic rise in some natural water supplies.
Agricultural pollutants, such as fertilisers and pesticides, and industrial pollutants were also seeping into ground water reserves in many areas.
Ha Noi’s sinking
The increasing use of ground water by urban households has caused severe pollution in Viet Nam’s capital city Ha Noi.
The capital’s current underground water use is about 700,000 cu.m a day and is predicted to rise two fold by 2010. It is one of the factors leading to the sinking ground in many parts of the city, according to the Ha Noi Institute for Science Technology and Construction Economics.
Participants at Bali’s seminar agreed that national governments should improve management of underground exploitation and better protect existing ground water reserves.
The seminar also agreed that Asian nations will have to solve eleven major water problems, including massive water-use by the agricultural sector, conflicts over water resources, shortages of drinking water, floods, rising demand for water in industrial use, ownership and pricing of water, pollution, river use, sanitation, underground water use and water resource threats. — VNS