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A recent study reveals a widespread and accelerating decline in groundwater levels globally over the past four decades.

Unsustainable irrigation practices and climate change are the primary drivers behind this alarming trend, posing significant economic and environmental risks.

Published in the Nature journal, the study highlights groundwater as a vital freshwater source for agriculture, households, and industries.

Depletion of groundwater could lead to adverse consequences such as reduced crop yields and land subsidence, particularly in coastal regions.

“One of the most likely major driving forces behind rapid and accelerating groundwater decline is the excessive withdrawal of groundwater for irrigated agriculture in dry climates,” said Scott Jasechko from the University of California, Santa Barbara, one of the paper’s co-authors.

Jasechko notes that climate-induced drought exacerbates the situation, prompting increased groundwater extraction to sustain irrigation.

The analysis, which examined over 170,000 wells across 40 countries, identifies arid regions with extensive croplands as the hardest-hit areas. Northern China, Iran, and the western United States are among the most severely affected regions.

From 2000 to 2022, over a third of the 1,693 monitored aquifer systems experienced an annual decline of at least 0.1 meters, with 12% witnessing declines exceeding 0.5 meters annually. Some of the most severely affected aquifers in Spain, Iran, China, and the United States saw declines surpassing 2 meters per year during the same period.



At Natural World Fund, we are passionate about stopping the decline in our wildlife.

The decline in our wildlife is shocking and frightening. Without much more support, many of the animals we know and love will continue in their decline towards extinction.

When you help to restore a patch of degraded land through rewilding to forests, meadows, or wetlands, you have a massive impact on the biodiversity at a local level. You give animals a home and food that they otherwise would not have had, and it has a positive snowball effect on the food chain.

We are convinced that this is much better for the UK than growing lots of fast-growing coniferous trees, solely to remove carbon, that don’t actually help our animals to thrive.

This is why we stand for restoring nature in the UK through responsible rewilding. For us, it is the right thing to do. Let’s do what’s right for nature!

Donate today at https://naturalworldfund.com/ and join in the solution!


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