How many times a day do you reach for that thirst-quenching cup, bottle, or fountain? Often we seek out the life-sustaining natural resource of water without much thought. We take it for granted. And we may think of water as an entitlement, a right bestowed upon our birth on this planet. But we consume water without worries only until a crisis threatens the availability of water or its safety.
Maybe that’s why we hear so much about water, the most commonplace of liquids, in the news. In some places, there seems to be far too much of it due to record rainfalls. In other areas, residents are plagued by wildfires and extreme droughts. Coastal regions are inundated by undrinkable seawater, which threatens the local freshwater aquifer. And we all know the sad story of Flint, Michigan, which recently has dominated headlines, as residents’ health is placed at risk by serious contamination issues.
As global climate continues to change, some local areas might face new weather patterns and new water conditions for which they are not fully prepared, in part because decisionmakers are not yet aware of pending crises. That’s where geoscientists come in.
During Groundwater Awareness Week (March 10-16, 2019), let’s all take a moment to appreciate how important water is to us. After all, the adult human body is up to 60 percent water. The next drink of water you take, give a little thanks to your groundwater scientists for bringing clean water to your home.
Allyson Anderson Book
Executive Director, AGI
Resources from AGI
- AGI's Critical Issues Program has dozens of water-related pages, links, and online courses
- K-5 GeoSource answers water questions for an elementary-school audience.
- AGI's Groundwater and Soil Contamination Database includes more than 157,000 references to worldwide literature on this subject.
- Read about water in EARTH Magazine, bringing you the science behind the water headlines.
AGI Member and Associate Societies Focused on Water
American Institute of Hydrology
American Meteorological Society
Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography
International Association of Hydrogeologists/U.S. National Chapter
Karst Waters Institute
National Cave and Karst Research Institute
National Ground Water Association
United States Permafrost Association
Western Water Assessment