WaterUnderground

Last week I gave a ‘blue drinks’  presentation for a networking evening for the Victoria chapter of the Canadian Water Resources Association entitled “How much groundwater is on earth?” based on our paper from Nature Geoscience last year. Since the night was hosted at Philips Brewery, an awesome local brewery (who makes Blue Buck, the perfect blue drink, and lots of other great beer), I decided to calculate how many kegs of groundwater we have on earth or said another way “what is the volume (in kegs) of groundwater is stored on earth?

So this blog post is a skill-testing question for all the nerds out there – answer below in the comments knowing:
a keg is 58.7 liters = 5.87e-11 km3 so there are 1.7 e+10 kegs in a km3.

Hint it is more than 1.7 e+10 kegs…. and one person during the evening got it almost correct.

I am a hydrogeologist at University of Victoria, Canada who is interested in groundwater sustainability, mega-scale groundwater systems, groundwater recharge and discharge and fluid flow around geologic structures. My goal is fundamental and applied research and teaching to enable sustainable groundwater use.

1 Comment

1. 380.000.000.000.000.000 (38e16) kegs…

wow, given that in 2006 133 billion litres (133e9 l = 133e-3 km3) of beer were produced, it would take 22e6 / 133e-3 = 160.000.000 million years to make as much beer as we have groundwater!

So if we wanted beer from the ground, the dinosaurs should have started brewing at the production levels we had in 2006…

Rolf