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Groundwater Abstraction – Earth Is Cracking Under Stress

groundwater abstraction – Earth is cracking under stress

Groundwater abstraction


Cracks are appearing in the Arizona desert in the US. Some fissures can be up to several miles long and 30 feet deep and they appear to be growing. Joseph Cook from the Arizona Geological Survey has been surveying and monitoring the cracks since 2014 and identifies groundwater abstraction as the culprit. As groundwater is pulled up, it leaves a void and the land above it subsides, leading to cracks. They’ve mapped the cracks in 26 study areas where they’ve identified a total of 170 miles of fissures. What is visible from the surface is probably only a fraction of what is going on underneath.


Groundwater levels are dropping and wells are drying up in most parts of the world and it estimated by National Geographic that 1.8 Billion people will live in water stressed regions by 2025. And it is our fault. Humans are depleting more than half of the world’s 37 largest aquifers at unsustainable rates. Even if we changed our ways, aquifers will take decades or even centuries to replenish.


But there are things we can do. 55% of domestic treated water and 85% of water used for industry could be replaced by natural surface water, according to So how can we deliver the surface water from its source to where it is needed, in a sustainable way? For the answer we can look to technology that has been around for 100’s of years – the Hydro Ram Pump. It can pump water over long distances and ‘up-hill’ to storage tanks for gravity feeding to delivery points – all without using any electricity or fuel! When 25% of electricity is used to pump water (according to the US Hydraulic Institute) and we are trying to reduce fossil fuel usage, the Hydro Ram provides the perfect long-term solution.

To see how a modern hydro ram works without fuel or electricity, visit


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