Groundwater use is highest in parts of the country with limited rainfall but high water needs, especially for irrigation. Most of these areas are in the western half of the country, where annual rainfall is typically much lower than in the East and where surface water supplies cannot meet the demand for water.
In 2015, groundwater provided 29% of the total freshwater used in the United States. However, eight states and at least one territory depended on groundwater for at least 50% of their freshwater supply:1
The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources provides an interactive map of water wells in the state. Wells are color-coded by use, and include geothermal, injection, irrigation, domestic, monitoring, and commerical wells, plus many other types. Users can click on each well to access registration and ownership information.
Additional map layers include transportation, aerial photography, and lakes and rivers.
Click here to access the Nebraska DNR's map of water wells.
The Connecticut Geological Survey's (CGS) map of surficial aquifer potential shows the areas with high potential for groundwater supply based on the thickness of coarse-grained deposits. Colors on the map indicate the thickness of coarse-grained deposits and the thickness of fine-grained deposits where they occur over coarse-grained sediments.
Click here to access the CGS's map of surficial aquifer potential in Connecticut.
In an effort to reduce water use in California, communities are turning to wastewater purification. This wastewater is being made so pure that it's actually causing problems: EARTH Magazine reports on a new study that showed that ultra-purified water allowed minute amounts of arsenic to leach from the surrounding bedrock into the water.