Articles | Volume 28, issue 7
Opinion article
11 Apr 2024
Opinion article |  | 11 Apr 2024

HESS Opinions: The unsustainable use of groundwater conceals a “Day Zero”

Camila Alvarez-Garreton, Juan Pablo Boisier, René Garreaud, Javier González, Roberto Rondanelli, Eugenia Gayó, and Mauricio Zambrano-Bigiarini


Interactive discussion

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2023-245', Anonymous Referee #1, 10 Nov 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on hess-2023-245', Anonymous Referee #2, 30 Nov 2023

Peer review completion

AR: Author's response | RR: Referee report | ED: Editor decision | EF: Editorial file upload
ED: Publish subject to minor revisions (further review by editor) (16 Jan 2024) by Noemi Vergopolan
AR by Camila Alvarez-Garreton on behalf of the Authors (25 Jan 2024)  Author's response   Author's tracked changes   Manuscript 
ED: Publish as is (04 Feb 2024) by Noemi Vergopolan
ED: Publish as is (05 Feb 2024) by Giuliano Di Baldassarre (Executive editor)
AR by Camila Alvarez-Garreton on behalf of the Authors (05 Feb 2024)  Manuscript 
Short summary

This opinion paper reflects on the risks of overusing groundwater savings to supply permanent water use requirements. Using novel data recently developed for Chile, we reveal how groundwater is being overused, causing ecological and socioeconomic impacts and concealing a Day Zero scenario. Our argument underscores the need for reformed water allocation rules and sustainable management, shifting from a perception of groundwater as an unlimited source to a finite and vital one.