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Friday, April 8, 2016

Groundwater

A well supplies the water to my house. There are many sources of freshwater that we use. It can be from nearby rivers and lakes created to provide water or an aquifer deep within the ground. My well is deeper than 300 feet. I would like to get a solar powered pump. However, when I looked into it ten years ago, I was told my well was too deep to be serviced with solar power.



Withdrawing water for agriculture is a contentious issue. Some states particularly in the west have regulations regarding withdrawing water from wells for a region. Excessive use can deplete an aquifer or lower the water table.

NPR article of overuse of groundwater by Saudi Arabian farm in Arizona

Although approximately 70 percent of the Earth is covered with water, only about 3 percent is freshwater. All of my percentages are rounded off. Precise percentages can be found in the following two sources.

Wikipedia breakdown of world's water

USGS water resource

Of the three percent freshwater, about 1.5 percent is groundwater and 1.5 percent is glacial ice and snow. About 1/10 of a percent is the world's lakes, rivers, streams, swamps, humidity. Water is a finite resource.

Some ground water is salt water. Excessive removal of freshwater along the coastline produce an encroachment of salt water into freshwater sources.

The Flint river which is about 2/10 of a mile or about a 1/4 of a kilometer from my house as the crow flies biggest problem is water flow. It is a relatively clean river free of pollutants. However excessive removal of groundwater and surface water affects its health. A great deal of the water that flows in the Flint is due to springs and underground water coming to the surface.  

Excessive irrigation for farming causes some land to become so salty that it cannot support farming and most plant life. Minerals are dissolved in water. Repeated watering causes a buildup of minerals. Water leaves by run-off, plant use or evaporation. The minerals are left behind.


6 comments:

  1. I actually recommended your blog to another science teacher I know who's trying to teach about water consumption in class. She loved it!

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  2. I grew up with well water and we were very mindful and frugal about our water use because of it. This is a very interesting post and I really like the photography.

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  3. Ah, I miss good well water. My family grew up with it, and it was so tasty! Now we live in a city, and it's not nearly as good--but some filtered water comes pretty close.

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  4. Great post. I certainly don't know enough about all these processes, Ann.

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  5. WE also have a well on our rural property and we recently had to start drilling deeper. Water is a big issue in my part of California.

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