A major new satellite-based study by NASA warns that water shortages will be the key environmental challenge of the century. It finds that freshwater supplies have already seriously declined in 19 global hotspots – from China to the Caspian Sea – due to overuse.
Areas in northern and eastern India, the Middle East, California and Australia are among the hotspots where overuse of water resources has caused a serious decline in the availability of freshwater that is already causing problems. Without strong action by governments to preserve water the situation in these areas is likely to worsen.
Some of these hotspots were previously undocumented or poorly understood: a region in north-western China, in Xinjiang province, has suffered dramatic declines despite receiving normal amounts of rainfall, owing to groundwater depletion from industry and irrigation.
Read the NASA press release here.
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