From March 5-11, 2017, Groundwater Awareness Week highlights one of the world’s most important resources – groundwater. This week-long national initiative in the USA is sponsored by the National Ground Water Association.
Approximately 97% of Earth’s water is found in its oceans and seas. The other 3% is freshwater, most of which is captured in glaciers and icecaps; the rest, in underground water and the surface water in our rivers and lakes.
Protecting ground water sources from contamination is an important priority for all citizens and corporations in the nation. The country uses over 400 billion gallons of water/day for a variety of reasons, including drinking, bathing, recreation, agriculture, cooling, and industry.
The U.S. population gets its water from community water systems and private groundwater wells. Groundwater contaminants can arise from incorrect local land use practices with fertilizers and pesticides, microbial contamination, manufacturing processes, improper disposal or storage of wastes, chemical spills, and problems with the placement or integrity of nearby onsite septic systems.
Now well into its second decade, Groundwater Awareness Week spotlights the importance of maintaining the purity and health of the country’s groundwater and serves as a reminder to citizens and communities with wells to take their yearly groundwater sample into a local water facility for testing its quality. Each state has its own regional guidelines for well maintenance and local offices for well owners to submit yearly water samples where specialists can help catch and resolve groundwater problems and prevent waterborne illness from contaminations of bacteria, viruses, parasites, and chemicals that can lead to sickness and disease.
These efforts to ensure healthy groundwater are increasingly important as freshwater supplies continue to decline in both quality and quantity worldwide. As global populations rise, the provision of safe, clean drinking water has become a crisis affecting hundreds of millions of lives.
B Bondar / Real World Content Advantage