Vast freshwater reserves discovered under the oceans

Scientists have discovered huge reserves of freshwater beneath oceans off of Australia, China, North America and South Africa.

underwater ocean light

Light in the ocean. Image credit: Shutterstock / kerenby

An estimated half a million cubic kilometers of low-salinity water are buried beneath the seabed on continental shelves around the world, according to a new study, published December 5, 2013 in the journal Nature.

How much water is that?

Dr. Vincent Post of Australia’s National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training is lead author of the study. He said:

The volume of this water resource is a hundred times greater than the amount we’ve extracted from the Earth’s sub-surface in the past century since 1900 … This volume of water could sustain some regions for decades.

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