Growth and environment can be two competing forces, especially when the very stability of the ground is in question.

China’s rapid development has emphasized both the need for and problems associated with the extraction of groundwater for human consumption.

In coastal cities such as Tianjin, Hebei, Shandong and Shanghai, where the groundwater accounts for 70% of the total water supply, saltwater intrusion has led to the contamination of fresh groundwater and in some instances the inability to irrigate important crops.

In those areas of the most rapid urbanization–namely the Yangtze River Delta–the plains of Northern China and the Fen-Wei River region, there is an even greater problem associated with groundwater extraction, and that concerns the solidity of the ground itself.

Cracks in the ground, which can cause sinkholes and significant damage to buildings and utilities, vary in depth in different areas because of the diverse thickness of the surface geological deposits.

Shanghai and Tainjen are the most affected cities, and according to Linkexperts, they have been sinking slowly since as far back as 1920!

The sinking of ground levels (subsidence) can be a major source of flooding in lowland areas and increases the risk of storms and storm surges.

Adding to the problem is the fact that much of the surface water has become polluted, increasing the need for groundwater pumping.

Authorities in Shanghai have initiated Project Recharge in an effort to seriously address the problem.

Hopefully, this project and others of its ilk will not have to list life preservers and cranes in their total inventory costs.






M Dee Dubroff is the penname of this freelance writer and former teacher originally from Brooklyn, New York. A writer of ghostly and horror fiction, she has branched out into the world of humorous non fiction writing and maintains eight web sites covering a wide variety of topics. She also writes feature articles for several local newspapers. Her book entitled: A Taste of Funny, and her website, Eat, Drink And Really Be Merry ( feature many well researched and humorous articles on the subject of food and drink.