The world is running out of drinking water fast, according to new data from NASA that draws on satellite data to quantify the stresses on aquifers, which UNESCO says are the sole source of drinking water for more than two billion people.
The NASA data emerges from studies led by researchers from the University of California Irvine. It shows that the depletion of global groundwater resources has dropped to dangerous levels due to the dueling impacts of global warming and growing human demand.
Analysis of data collected by satellite over a ten year period from 2003 to 2013, revealed that 21 of the world’s 37 largest aquifers have now passed their sustainability tipping points.
Jay Famiglietti, senior water scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who took part in the research, was quoted in news reports as saying: "The water table is dropping all over the world. There’s not an infinite supply of water."
The researchers also told journalists that as water resources are strapped to meet future demands due to population growth and climate change, "the global population without access to potable water will likely increase."
Commenting, Bluewater Managing Director Niclas Wullt says the future sustainability of quality drinking water to our taps is facing many different threats, ranging from local water availability to urban water delivery systems.
"If governments are going to find it ever more difficult to deliver safe, uncontaminated water to our residential faucets then we must increasingly look for our own individual solutions – such as the residental water purifiers offered by Bluewater that harness second generation reverse osmosis to remove the nasty stuff from water," said Mr. Wullt.