Immense Freshwater Reserves Discovered Beneath Ocean Floor

Could alleviate earth's looming water resource crises

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Scientists have discovered a massive reserve of freshwater trapped beneath the seabed that could provide water to the world’s coastal cities and mitigate the impact of a looming global water crisis, according to a new study.

The study first reported in the journal Nature describes an estimated half-a-million cubic kilometers of low-salinity water buried in undersea aquifers off the coasts of Australia, China, North America and South Africa.

“The volume of this water resource is a hundred times greater than the amount we’ve extracted from the Earth’s sub-surface in the past century since 1900,” the study’s lead author Dr. Vincent Post said, according to Science Daily. “Knowing about these reserves is great news because this volume of water could sustain some regions for decades.”

The undersea reserves have the potential to alleviate the impacts of freshwater scarcity on the planet, Post said, but the resource should be treated with care. Offshore oil and gas exploration or carbon sequestration activities could contaminate the aquifers, which are themselves a limited resource.

“We should use them carefully,” Post said “Once gone, they won’t be replenished until the sea level drops again, which is not likely to happen for a very long time.”

[Science Daily]

(MORE: Oceanographer Sylvia Earle on what it takes to protect our oceans)

13 comments
QuantumBios
QuantumBios

Gaddafi was on to something with his Great Man-Made River Project...so of course the US murdered him.

raidx259
raidx259

“We should use them carefully,", right, as if we can use anything carefully and rationally.

eagle11772
eagle11772

I wonder if their are life forms in that water.  It wouldn't surprise me.  Life is extremely tenacious and can live in many extreme environments.

romdeu
romdeu

What if I told you,
you think this is good news but it is actually very bad news.

- It will further postpone humans' long awaited evolution to responsible communities that use only green energy. 

- It is a giant setback for recycling used water by cities. Investments will go to pipelines that drain oceans instead. 
- Humans will destroy ocean floor like a cancer. They will show no respect for other beings other than themselves until they realize there is no more fish. And then,  they will justify that outcome with the argument of "survival."


svasol
svasol

Well let's by all means extract it and use it as fast as we possibly can, making certain the 'Titans of Wall St.' enrich themselves financially through other peoples money by purchasing the 'water rights'.

hoosiernewman
hoosiernewman

“The volume of this water resource is a hundred times greater than the amount we’ve extracted from the Earth’s sub-surface in the past century since 1900,” the study’s lead author Dr. Vincent Post said, according to Science Daily. “Knowing about these reserves is great news because this volume of water could sustain some regions for decades.”


--------------------------------------------------------- 

I did the math and if it contains more water than we extracted over 100 years, how could it only sustain 'some regions'  for a couple of decades?  If only sustaining some regions, why would it only be decades?  Surly at least another 100 years.

That would mean exponential population growth.

VasuMurti
VasuMurti

Vegan author John Robbins provides these points and facts in his Pulitzer Prize nominated Diet for a New America (1987): 

Half the water consumed in the U.S. irrigates land growing feed and fodder for livestock. It takes 25 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat, but 2,500 gallons to produce a pound of meat. If these costs weren't subsidized by the American taxpayers, the cheapest hamburger meat would be $35 per pound!

Livestock producers are California's biggest consumers of water. Every tax dollar the state doles out to livestock producers costs taxpayers over seven dollars in lost wages, higher living costs and reduced business income. Seventeen western states have enough water supplies to support economies and populations twice as large as the present.

U.S. livestock produce twenty times as much excrement as the entire human population, creating sewage which is ten to several hundred times as concentrated as raw domestic sewage. Meat producers contribute to half the water pollution in the United States. 

****

A 2007 pamphlet put out by Compassion Over Killing similarly points out: 

Nearly 75% of the grain grown and 50% of the water consumed in the U.S. are used by the meat industry. (Audubon Society)

It takes nearly one gallon of fossil fuel and 5,200 gallons of water to produce just one pound of conventionally fed beef. (Mother Jones)

****

In their 2007 book, Please Don't Eat the Animals, mother and daughter Jennifer Horsman and Jaime Flowers write:

"Half of all fresh water worldwide is used for thirsty livestock.  Producing eight ounces of beef requires an unimaginable 25,000 liters of water, or the water necessary for one pound of steak equals the water consumption of the average household for a year.

"The Worldwatch Institute estimates one pound of steak from a steer raised in a feedlot costs:  five pounds of grain, a whopping 2,500 gallons of water, the energy equivalent of a gallon of gasoline, and about 34 pounds of topsoil.

"Thirty-three percent of our nation's raw materials and fossil fuels go into livestock destined for slaughter.  In a vegan economy, only two percent of our resources will go to the production of food."

According to the editors of World Watch, July/August 2004: "The human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future -- deforestization, topsoil erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of communities and the spread of disease."

The number of animals killed for food in the United States is nearly 75 times larger than the number of animals killed in laboratories, 30 times larger than the number killed by hunters and trappers, and 500 times larger than the number of animals killed in animal pounds.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is challenging those who think they can still be "meat-eating environmentalists" to go vegan, if they really care about the planet.


peta2 is now the largest youth movement of any social change organization in the world.

peta2 has 267,000 friends on MySpace and 91,000 Facebook fans.

swiftt
swiftt

@romdeu Didn't know the "survival" argument was irrelevant these days, but whatev's

swiftt
swiftt

@hoosiernewman Oooor, there has already been exponential population growth, thus what lasted 100 years in the past will only last a couple decades at modern pop rates, and then only for some regions at that.  Math is hard. Logic is harder.

serinanth
serinanth

@VasuMurti Peta is an incredibly hypocritical organization.

The amount they spend on advertising and their BS shenanigans could be used at their nearly 100% kill shelter to help find animals homes. Dogs, only around 2.5% adopted. Cats? .4%. The rest? Euthanized, and most within 24 hours of their arrival at the shelter, don't talk to me about Peta, its a sham corp whose bigwigs make way too much money and don't do what they actually preach.

hoosiernewman
hoosiernewman

@VasuMurti nah... More vegans drive down the cost of hamburgers in USA.  Thank you for your service to this country.

PrabuddhaGhosh
PrabuddhaGhosh

@VasuMurti If people would no longer eat these animals they would not care if these animals are raised in healthy disease free environments. You would find them roaming around on streets, blocking traffic and in general making a mess everywhere