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Shifting foundations caused by emptying aquifers threaten to undermine China's cities

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Urban growth and depletion of groundwater blamed for land subsidence in Shanghai and elsewhere | The problem of subsidence in Chinese cities is nevertheless very real. "The pressure exerted by skyscrapers is a minor cause," says Li Qinfen, a researcher at the Shanghai Institute of Geological Survey. Excessive pumping of groundwater to service new urban developments is the key factor...Shanghai -- doomed, according to some observers, to suffer a similar fate to Atlantis -- has in fact already taken action to reverse the trend, injecting about 60,000 tonnes of water a year into its aquifers, according to the city council.

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At www.guardian.co.uk

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