Ancient human settlements were often established where there were artesian wells and springs. Ever since, people’s lives in towns and cities around the world have been supported by groundwater. It was in the 20th century, however, that groundwater over-abstraction brought about problems such as depletion of groundwater resources and serious land subsidence. In dry regions like some parts of China, India and United States, agriculture has used the largest amount of groundwater. However, in countries where agriculture is more dependent on rainfall and irrigation systems, groundwater is exploited extensively by industries and urban development. In Japan, groundwater over-abstraction had become a serious environmental concern by the 1960s because it had brought about extensive land subsidence in the major cities. For example, in the Koto Delta region in Tokyo, the land has subsided over four metres since 1900.
KeywordsGroundwater Resource Land Subsidence Groundwater Contamination Water Supply System Groundwater Abstraction
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