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Articles on Groundwater

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The old village of Aceredo, submerged 30 years ago when a hydropower dam flooded the valley, emerged during a drought in northwestern Spain, in February 2022. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

IPCC report: Half the world is facing water scarcity, floods and dirty water — large investments are needed for effective solutions

Water is central to adapting to climate change, but very few of the strategies put in place to respond to water hazards or ensure its availability have been evaluated.
Groundwater is used for irrigation and drinking water, but those wells are rarely more than one kilometre deep. A huge volume of salty water exists as much as 10 kilometres below the Earth’s surface. (Shutterstock)

Groundwater — not ice sheets — is the largest source of water on land and most of it is ancient

Groundwater is the second-largest store of water on Earth. Governments and industry use groundwater reservoirs to store waste, but it may also have environmental functions that haven’t been revealed.
Some of North America’s groundwater is so old, it fell as rain before humans arrived here thousands of years ago. Maria Fuchs via Getty Images

Ancient groundwater: Why the water you’re drinking may be thousands of years old

As surface water diminishes in the Western US, people are drilling deeper wells – and tapping into older groundwater that can take thousands of years to replenish naturally.
In some drought-stricken parts of the Southwest, water arrives by truck. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Avoiding water bankruptcy in the drought-troubled Southwest: What the US and Iran can learn from each other

Cities and farmers in the Southwest are resorting to unsustainable strategies to pull in more water. Iran has tried many of these strategies and shows how they can go wrong.
An orchard near Kettleman City in California’s San Joaquin Valley on April 2, 2021. Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Water wells are at risk of going dry in the US and worldwide

The US has one of the highest groundwater use rates in the world. When wells run dry, households may opt to conserve water, find new sources or sell and move.
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How the water and sewage under your feet could end up flooding your home (and what to do about it)

Some flood dangers can be hard to spot initially – to planners, developers and home-buyers. Sometimes, the danger comes from underground.

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