If we understand what exactly ‘water mining’ is, and how the water is used, then we can inevitably see where the water goes …
Water mining refers to withdrawing (pumping) water from fossil water resources – these are not naturally-replenishing aquifers, but rather underground water sources that have little to no replenishment. This ‘fossil’ water is not part of the water cycle (for all intents and purposes), and thereby does not factor into sea levels.
BUT when water is ‘mined’ from these fossil resources for use in irrigation or any other purpose, it does not return to where it came from! It ends up in our oceans, and contributes to our rising sea levels. Water mining has more than doubled over the past few years, and now directly contributes to as much as 25% of rising sea levels.
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