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High and DryMeeting the Challenges of the World's Growing Dependence on Groundwater$
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William M Alley and Rosemarie Alley

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300220384

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300220384.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 22 May 2022

Beyond Rain

Beyond Rain

(p.1) 1 Beyond Rain
High and Dry

William M. Alley

Rosemarie Alley

Yale University Press

The chapter begins with looking at ways humans have dealt with drought—praying for rain, hiring a rainmaker, or hoping for the best. After World War II, the widespread availability of rural electrification, the deep turbine pump, and center pivot irrigation gave people the option of large-scale use of groundwater. This chapter provides an overview of how groundwater development has radically improved water and food security. The discussion then moves to the growing problems that have resulted from groundwater overuse in places such as the High Plains (Ogallala) Aquifer and the North China Plain. Recently, the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellites, which can provide precise estimates of changes in groundwater storage over very large areas, have helped draw attention to groundwater depletion around the world.

Keywords:   China, food security, GRACE, High Plains Aquifer, irrigation, rainmaking, water security

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