Satellite data shows underground aquifers are running out of water, according to an article, the planet’s underground store of water is running out and nobody can be sure how much remains, to supply billions of people, in the future. Groundwater accumulates slowly in the underlying bedrock over millennia. There is no problem if it is withdrawn slowly, but human population has exploded threefold and water use has risen even faster.

Of the 37 underground aquifers measured, one third was seriously stressed, with little or almost no natural replenishment. Not surprisingly, the researchers found that those regions, that are the driest, were drawing most heavily on the groundwater below the surface. The Arabian aquifer system is the worst stressed, followed by the Indus Basin of north-west India and Pakistan.

The situation is made worse, when a highly-stressed aquifer, is located in a region with political tensions and cannot supplement declining water supplies fast enough, less storage capacity at the dams means less water flowing in the rivers and canals and hence less replenishment of the aquifer. This is true in our case, not only the quantity is rapidly depleting, the quality is also deteriorating. We stopped supplementing water supplies 38 years ago and there are no signs of our doing so in the foreseeable future.

ENGR KHURSHID ANWER,

Lahore, July 6.