New Water Source: Under the Sea?
Vast reserves found beneath coastal shelves
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2013 10:59 PM CST
Updated Dec 6, 2013 4:33 AM CST
Under the water, more water.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Under trillions of tons of water might not be the most obvious place to look for ... more water, but that's where scientists have found vast reserves of freshwater that could sustain future generations as aquifers run dry. Water resources under seabeds were once thought to be rare, but researchers now believe around 500,000 cubic kilometers of fresh or brackish water can be found off the coasts of Australia, China, North America, and South Africa, enough to greatly reduce the impact of future droughts and water shortages, ScienceAlert reports.

The deposits were formed hundreds of thousands of years ago, when rain filled up water tables under areas that became ocean as sea levels rose. "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 lead researcher of a study published in Nature says. "Knowing about these reserves is great news because this volume of water could sustain some regions for decades." He warns, however, that activities like drilling for oil can contaminate the reserves—and when they're gone, they "won’t be replenished until the sea level drops again, which is not likely to happen for a very long time." (A similarly fascinating recent find: an ancient ocean underneath the Chesapeake Bay.)

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Showing 3 of 28 comments
Ezekiel 25:17
Dec 6, 2013 11:57 PM CST
Earth's natural warming cooling cycle is 125,000 years as evidences in the South Pole Vostok data set. The lake found under Chesapeake bay has water dated to 100,000,000 years. Must be some of that water boy stuff. We have a Cartesian well that is putting out water dated to 25,000 years due to how far it travels to leave the ground.
People_Suck
Dec 6, 2013 9:07 PM CST
Did Sebastian write this article? All these years and still no large scale desalination plants.
frejosan
Dec 6, 2013 7:43 AM CST
I think this is another demonstration about the authenticity of the Bible accounts: "When Noah was six hundred years old, on the seventeenth day of the second month ALL THE OUTLETS OF THE VAST BODY OF WATER BENEATH THE EARTH BURST OPEN..." Genesis 7:11 (GNB) "...The same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up..." Genesis 7:11 (KJV)