Thursday, August 14, 2008

Strategy to assess US groundwater availability

US Geological Survey: Scientists proposed a strategy to study the nation's ground-water supply as part of the Federal government's effort to help address the Nation's increasing competition for water. Declines in ground-water levels have led to concerns about the future availability of ground water, which provides half the country's drinking water and is essential to the vitality of agriculture and industry, as well as to the health of rivers, wetlands, and estuaries throughout the country.

The report, "Ground-Water Availability in the United States" examines what is known about the Nation's ground-water availability and outlines a strategy for future national and regional studies that would provide information to help state and local agencies make informed water-availability decisions. View the report on-line at

"An assessment of ground-water availability is critical for state and local agencies to make decisions about important issues such as drinking water, industrial and energy production, and agricultural uses," says William Alley, USGS Office of Ground Water Chief.

… Determining ground-water availability is a complex process. Issues affecting ground-water vary from location to location and commonly require analysis in the context of ground-water flow systems to achieve a meaningful perspective. Even if water resources are abundant regionally, heavy water use in centralized areas can create local stresses. As water-related problems evolve in complex ways, an up-to-date and comprehensive evaluation of ground-water resources that builds on the foundation of previous studies is needed to meet society's ever-changing water demands….

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