National Groundwater Awareness Week, March 6-12, is time to take stock of the role that groundwater plays in our daily lives. While groundwater depletion and contamination are often described as a crisis, perhaps the real groundwater crisis results from a general lack of education and attention to the world’s most extracted natural resource.
With numerous users, sustainable groundwater use depends upon an informed public.
We depend on groundwater for many purposes. About half the world’s people rely on groundwater for their drinking water. Almost everyone in rural areas does.
Groundwater provides much of the water used to irrigate crops – a message driven home by the California drought. Groundwater keeps streams and rivers flowing during dry periods, providing environmental benefits in addition to water supply.