NGWA is developing a series of information briefs on issues as they relate to groundwater. Please bookmark this page and check back for others as they become available.
In addition, NGWA has developed a series of information sheets that are available for the public that are available from this link.
Western states, with the exception of Utah and California, exempt small groundwater uses,such as for domestic or livestock purposes, from certain provisions of the states’ water withdrawal permitting, adjudication procedures, or both. In Utah, small groundwater users must go through the water withdrawal permitting process and California does not have a comprehensive, statewide groundwater permitting process. Read more about the regulation of exempt wells in the west.
The National Ground Water Association invites others to join with it in recognizing that, givengroundwater’s vast reserves and broad geographical distribution, its generally good quality, andits protection from seasonal fluctuations and contamination, groundwater holds the promise toensure future world communities an affordable and safe water supply. Further, by recognizing that both surface water and groundwater constitute essential resources, thoroughly integrated waterresources management strategies will serve to enhance the security, reliability, and quality of the world’s water supplies. Read more about the global importance of groundwater.
Brackish water does not have an exact definition, but it is typically defined as distastefully salty but less saline than seawater (between 1,000 to 10,000 ppm [parts per million] in total dissolved solids [TDS]). In addition to certain surface water settings such as estuaries, brackish water can be found in aquifers. In some regions of the country with limited availability of freshwater, desalination of brackish groundwater is being used as an alternative supply. Read more about brackish groundwater.
In the face of concern about the depletion of groundwater reserves and the potential reduction in surface water flows that result, groundwater storage projects are being implemented throughout the United States. These groundwater storage projects may employ wells to pump water underground for storage and later recovery. Read more about aquifer storage and recovery.
Groundwater is a critical component of this nation’s water resources. Approximately 78 percentof community water systems and nearly all rural water supplies use groundwater. Groundwater is the source for 42 percent of the nation’s agricultural irrigation water. Additionally, groundwateralso feeds streams and rivers, especially during periods of drought or low flow, providing environmental benefits and sustaining ecosystem services. Read more about managed aquifer recharge.
The disposal of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the subsurface via well injection, also known as geologic carbon sequestration or carbon capture and storage (CCS), is one of a portfolio of technologies under consideration as a viable approach to mitigating greenhouse gas buildup. Recognizing that this option for carbon capture holds great promise, it is important to understand it also has the potential to endanger underground sources of drinking water if proper safeguards are not taken. Read more about geologic carbon sequestration.
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