In a new study published by NASA, satellite data has calculated that subterranean aquifers are depleting as a faster rate than previously thought.

By observing the changes over a decade of 37 of the world's aquifers, researchers found that 21, including the Indus Basin aquifer, are running out. This is a major concern because rice-farming, a water heavy agricultural practice, is a staple for the country's diet and a major export.

Unsurprisingly, California's Central Valley aquifer is the most depleted of all. Currently, 68% of the world's water is used for agriculture, but this water, unlike water used for cooling power plants, cannot be recycled. 

Experts such as NASA scientist Matthew Rodell, believe drilling into aquifers and monitoring them as we do oil reserves is crucially important. 

“The people who are using the water don’t necessarily recognize that it will ever run out. It is used as a resource that will last forever,” He says, "If we continue with our current consumption practices, hesays, these people and those farmers that rely on that water won’t have it anymore.”

Cover image: Wikimedia Commons