Comment: 19:34 - 20:39 (01:05)
Source: Annenberg/CPB Resources - Earth Revealed - 21. Groundwater
Keywords: groundwater, resource, oil, hydrocarbon, energy, life, replenishment, infiltration, well
Our transcription: The great irony about groundwater is how little attention it often gets in discussions about dwindling resources.
We worry about running out of oil, and there's no question that it's of great importance for our mobile economy.
But when all is said and done, life could go on even without hydrocarbons.
There are, after all, alternative sources of energy.
But when it comes to water, there is no substitute.
Without water, life is simply not possible.
Fortunately, groundwater resources are not as limited or irreplaceable, for groundwater is more rapidly replenished by nature than is oil.
But the time scale of natural replenishment is very long, at least by human standards.
At the current level of infiltration it would take thousands of years to restore the water supply that has been pumped from beneath many cities in but a fraction of that time.
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