Archive for January 4th, 2011

Disappearing Ground Water Means Sinking Cities, Part 2

posted by Jael Ever @ 13:17 PM
January 4, 2011

But it is not just in China and other eastern nations where the overuse of groundwater is causing the collapse of major architectural structures.  The problem also hits closer to home.  From Boston in the East Coast to small towns in the middle of California, overuse of aquifers horribly affects structures in cities and towns across this country.  But suffering from this slow collapse of solid earth even more so is the capital city south of the border.
 Workers in Mexico City, a huge metropolis, are racing to stop the city’s collapse caused by drying aquifers.  More than 70% of this city’s water supply is pumped from aquifers below the city.  According to the wise geek, “Evidence of Mexico City’s sinking is everywhere, from cracking streets and sidewalks to moving foundations and crooked balconies.”  In some places, who wings of buildings are tearing away from the main structures.  He writers further that “Railroads and subway lines are threatened due to fracturing tracks, and unstable foundations,” and a quarter of its citizens don’t have fresh water because of sinking damage to plumbing and sewers.

 Sam Dillon writing for insists that Mexico City has sunk some 30 feet because of drying aquifers.  He and Chris Hawley of The Arizona Republic write about massive underground construction projects commissioned to shore up sinking buildings.  And emergency scaffolding is used to shore up walls for famous buildings above ground, such as the National Cathedral and the National Palace.  And so much of the problem––as in other countries––is simply wasted water.  Dillon adds that at least a third of every gallon of clean water pumped through the city’s systems leaks away into waste.  So much repair of buildings and rail ways above ground, as well as waterways underground, is needed that the situation seems hopeless.

 In “Dying Aquifers, Sinking Cities,” the on-line author “Edro” argues: “Water, our most precious resource, is also the world’s most abused, misused and neglected resource. . . . World cities and agricultural lands that are situated above aquifers and groundwater reserves are slowly but permanently sinking into the ground, as the water is pumped out at phenomenal rates.”

 So often in The Old Testament, nations were badly in need of this precious resource––water.  First Kings in wholesale Christian Bibles gives the account of the prophet Elijah who withstood false prophets and prayed rain down from heaven.  James later writes in the New Testament that “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, . . . he prayed earnestly . . .” until the rain fell.  The apostle’s point is that all believers can pray nations out of this mad state of water waste, water loss and earth collapse.  But without that prayer, what Global Warming doesn’t destroy, dying aquifers will probably finish the job.

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