ADELAIDE, South Australia — A team of Australian scientists have published a new study in the journal Nature showing that massive reserves of freshwater are buried beneath the seabed on continental shelves worldwide, according to an article by Forbes.

The freshwater has been found under the sea off Australia, China, North America and South Africa, the article reported.

An estimated 500,000 cubic kilometers of low-salinity water is trapped in aquifers under the ocean floor, based on analysis of seafloor water studies conducted for oil and gas exploration, the article noted.

“The volume of this water resource is a hundred times greater than the amount we’ve extracted from the Earth’s sub-surface in the past century since 1900,” said Vincent Post, a groundwater hydro geologist from Flinders University in Adelaide and the new study’s lead author.

This news is critical now as new data from the United Nations shows that by 2030 nearly 50 percent of the planet's population will exist under conditions of high water stress, according to the article.

Read the full article here.