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WATER WORLD
New map charts a 'leaky' Earth

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
Vancouver, British Columbia (UPI) Feb 11, 2011
Canadian researchers have made the first-ever global survey of Earth's permeability -- essentially, they say, how "leaky" our planet is.

Their world map of permeability shows how easily water passes through surface rocks in all parts of the world, information that could provide understanding of the planet's water cycle and the sustainability of underground water sources, NewScientist.com reported Friday.

Crucially, the researchers at the University of British Columbia say, it could help unravel the hidden underground movements of most of the planet's fresh water -- water that is not taken into account in computer models used to predict climate.

"Groundwater makes up 99 percent of the fresh unfrozen water on Earth," says UBC researcher Tom Gleeson. "That huge store could somehow modulate the climate. There may be really complex interactions that we don't appreciate."

The map should help hydrologists work out how much groundwater moves from one basin or aquifer to another, which is important if the water is to be managed sustainably, researchers say.




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WATER WORLD
China earmarks $303 bn for safe water: report
Beijing (AFP) Jan 21, 2011
China plans to invest $303 billion in water infrastructure projects over the next five years that would give millions of rural residents access to safe drinking water, state media reported. Severe flooding and droughts across the country last year destroyed crops and drove up food prices, pushing inflation to its highest level in more than two years, prompting the investment. Beijing wil ... read more

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