Groundwater is a critical component of the United States' water resources. Approximately 75 percent of community water systems in the United States rely on groundwater.1 Groundwater feeds streams and rivers, especially during periods of drought or low flow. The percentage of total irrigation withdrawals from groundwater increased from 23 percent in 1950 to 42 percent in 2000.2
Water supply managers in 36 states expected statewide, regional, or local freshwater shortages between 2003 and 2013 even under normal conditions.3
Given the importance of groundwater to the nation and the anticipated water shortages, the Association of American State Geologists, the Ground Water Protection Council, the Interstate Council on Water Policy, and the National Ground Water Association undertook, in 2007, a national survey to identify what is being done to monitor groundwater quality and levels. Specifically, the survey sought information on statewide or regional, defined as multicounty, nontargeted, i.e., not at known contaminated sites, groundwater monitoring efforts. The following chart provides information on the survey and its results.
Groundwater quality monitoring survey
Groundwater level monitoring survey
Individual state responses
Combined survey results
We received the following supplemental information to the 2007 surveys after completion of the report summary and compilation results:
Addendum A — Updated information for both kevel and quality surveys from Texas
Addendum B — Initial quality survey response submitted from North Carolina.
The assistance of groundwater officials in sharing information on their state or regional groundwater monitoring programs is gratefully acknowledged. Without their assistance, the report would not be possible.
Updates or corrections to the information provided at the above links should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2002. Community water system survey 2000, Volume I. Retrieved at http://www.epa.gov/OGWDW/consumer/cwss_2000_volume_i.pdf.
2. Hutson, Susan S., Nancy L. Barber, Joan F. Kenny, Kristin S. Linsey, Deborah S. Lumia, and Molly A. Maupin. 2004. Estimated use of water in the United States in 2000. U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1268.
3. U.S. Government Accountability Office. Freshwater Supply: State's Views of How Federal Agencies Could Help them Meet the Challenges of Expected Shortages (GAO-03-514), 2003.
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