RFG 2018 Conference

groundwater

Which areas in the United States are most dependent on groundwater?

Groundwater use is highest in parts of the country with limited rainfall but high water needs, especially for irrigation purposes. 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 2010, groundwater provided 25% of the total freshwater used in the United States. However, nine states depended on groundwater for at least 50% of their freshwater supply[1]:

Interactive map of water wells in Nebraska

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.

Brackish and Saline Groundwater in New Mexico

New Mexico meets its ever-growing need for water through both surface and ground-water resources. The supply of surface water is largely dependent upon precipitation, and its availability is therefore subject to periods of drought. Shallow, fresh groundwater resources supplement the state’s water needs, but many of these resources are being used far faster than they are being replenished, and are therefore finite. We know that there are deeper, largely untapped groundwater resources, but generally these are too salty to drink or to use for irrigation without treatment. Nonetheless, they provide a potential alternative source of groundwater, and are of increasing interest to the state, particularly as our evolving technologies are providing ways for us to use them.

Groundwater and Wells in Agricultural Regions of Bayfield County, Wisconsin

This report and accompanying figures provide local officials, residents, and the agricultural community with basic information about groundwater and water supply wells in two agricultural regions of Bayfield County, Wisconsin. The work presented in this report was commissioned by the Large-Scale Livestock Study Committee and the Bayfield County Board of Supervisors.

Map of Surficial Aquifer Potential in Connecticut

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. 

EARTH: Treated Water That's Too Pure Lets Arsenic Sneak In

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.

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