Every interconnected element of nature has been affected on some level by climate change, when one thing is drastically changed, a domino effect appears, teetering everything else below it. Due to recent extreme heats across the globe, we’ve seen an increase in droughts and therefore water scarcity. From the U.S. to India, groundwater has been drained out from under us—the heat and ignorance is to blame.
The United States
Starting in the U.S, there was once a wealth of underground water sources that have supplied cities and farmlands for centuries, but Americans are now using up mother nature’s bestowal. The NY Times has analyzed the water levels across thousands of cities starting from 1920 to present day. They found that due to a skewed replenishment system, nearly half the analyzed sites have declined over the past 40 years. Nature can not replenish its water supply at the same rate people are pumping it out. Over the last decade, about four out of every 10 sites have hit record lows, with last year  being the worst.
Now, states and communities are paying the price. Breadbasket states, such as Kansas, are hurting significantly more, as the main aquifer beneath 2.6 million acres of land can not efficiently support industrial-scale irrigation or agriculture. Traveling to New York, Long Island faces a major threat to their drinking-water wells as overpumping continues. In Phoenix, Arizona the groundwater has depleted so greatly that new home construction can not progress due to insufficient aquifer reliance. Across the states of Utah, Texas, and California, roads are buckling, structural foundations are cracking, and fissures are opening due to the amounts of drained water. And to conclude the journey of devastation, the country’s rivers and lakes that rely on groundwater have become streams or less than stagnant.
According to the projections given by Science Advances, the warming climate could send India into a groundwater crisis within the next coming decades. India already pumps out more groundwater than any other country. They use groundwater to irrigate about 60% of the staple crops like wheat, rice, and maize. But the rise in temperatures have been drying out these fields, leaving little to no moisture to soak into the ground or crops. The natural replenishment of groundwater is almost nonexistent in these areas because of this suffocating cycle. If action isn’t taken, underground water supplies could shrink three times the current rate from 2041 to 2080. The country is also not supplied with the necessary dams or other infrastructures to significantly increase its river-fed irrigation.
Once groundwater is fully depleted, there isn’t another source to tap into. The resources that we have been supplied with are the ONLY resources we have to use. Moving forward in a responsible and sustainable light is the only way we can preserve our water, and in turn save the planet.