Posted on: March 9, 2017

National Ground Water Awareness Week - March 5, 2017 - March

National Groundwater Week 2017.jpg

If you value your life, you should value groundwater, the National Ground Water Association said today in recognition of National Groundwater Awareness Week, March 5th-11th.  Quite literally, life as we know it would not be possible without groundwater. National Groundwater Awareness Week is a time to take stock of this most important natural resource. “In times of drought or groundwater contamination — when people are noticeably affected — the value of groundwater becomes clear” says Augusta Utilities Department Public Education Specialist, Leadra Collins.

The principle behind what Benjamin Franklin said two centuries ago remains true today: “When the well runs dry, we shall know the value of water.” It is estimated that groundwater makes up an estimated 99 percent of all fresh water in the world. At a national level, the United States uses:

  • 76 billion gallons a day (bgd) of groundwater for all purposes
  • 49.5 bgd for agricultural irrigation
  • 15.7 bgd for public water supplies
  • 3.5 bgd for individual households through privately owned water wells
  • 3 bgd for livestock and aquaculture
  • 2.9 bgd for industry (self-supplied)
  • 1.1 bgd for mining
  • Nearly 600 million gallons per day for thermoelectric power generation.

“Because groundwater is out of sight, out of mind for most, National Groundwater Awareness Week provides a convenient opportunity for people to learn about the importance of groundwater to their lives,” said Collins. Augusta Utilities Department is urging the public to learn information vital to take care of their water quality and their wells. Here are some more interesting groundwater facts:

  • The 76 bgd of groundwater used in the United States equals 1 billion, 586 million bathtubs full of water, enough to circle the Earth more than 60 times
  • India is the largest groundwater user in the world, using 66.3 trillion gallons in one year — enough water to fill an 18-inch-diameter pipeline to the Moon and back — 2,000 times
  • Groundwater is under most of the Earth’s surface
  • Under Africa’s Sahara Desert, there is 20 times more groundwater than all the surface water in the entire continent’s lakes.

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