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Groundwater Depletion

by Iria Vasquez-Paez 4 years ago in science
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We may run out.

Groundwater depletion is a growing problem on this planet today. It comes from, as usual, humans overusing their ability to draw groundwater out of our environment. Surface water is not always easily accessed in the United States. Groundwater is the source of drinking water for half the total population and nearly all of the rural population. (Source) Groundwater depletion simply means that excessive of groundwater is a key situation that needs to be addressed more. Groundwater depletion will create wells that dry up since waters and lakes have less water in it when the water is siphoned. The water quality is not as good as it needs to be because there are increases in pumping costs when there is a sinking in the earth's surface.

As we overuse Earth's resources, we may not survive into the next century, because we do not have enough water restocked in the groundwater supply. Once we use it, we use it, and the water has to be pumped from a well reaching below the water table because if groundwater has declined severely, then a new well must be dug. If the water table slowly stops giving enough water for the well, that means the water levels have declined from the pumping.

The groundwater depletion crisis is growing since freshwater is contaminated by saltwater intrusion. Water below the oceans is saline since 3.1 cubic miles of saline groundwater (12.9 million cubic kilometers) is in existence compared to 2.6 million cubic miles (10.5 million cubic kilometers). Groundwater depletion occurs in the southwest and the high plains in the United States. As stated earlier, excessive pumping of a well means that the well has to be dug deeper in order to get any water at all, this is a huge problem for many states in the United States, not just California. Groundwater is water to drink or grow crops.

We, humans, are the cause of groundwater contamination (Source). Groundwater is very easy to pollute because anything on the Earth’s surface can cause pollution such as pesticides and fertilizers. Toxic substances from mining sites even find their way into our groundwater. This is not only harmful to humans, it is toxic. Storage tanks with gasoline inside can also contaminate our groundwater because there are at least 10 million storage tanks buried in the United States, which can adversely affect our water supply. Even septic tanks that are not connected to a sewer can cause bacteria, viruses, household chemicals, or other contaminants creating serious pollution.

Something has to be done about groundwater pollution because we are in deep trouble if it continues. Landfills run out of time with their protective bottom layer that prevents contaminants from getting into the water. Chemical pesticides and even road salts can seep into groundwater, which contaminants it irreversibly. The human race has to stop all activities that cause pollution.

We are letting big companies destroy our planet. Most of us are passive worker bees who go to work daily without quite understanding how we affect our planet at all. We are busy, too busy to give it thought. Maybe earth-friendly jobs should be created with the goal that the people in them decide on implementing ways to clean up the planet. Imagine a whole company, whose goal it is to change or fix the pollution on this planet. We can’t live off of groundwater forever. We need to start looking at adequate water sources. The human race is finished on the planet if we do not clean up our act in the next century. Even if we only get 100 years to do so, since we have problems we are not addressing at the highest levels of government in the United States.

Works Cited

Groundwater Foundation

The USGS Water Science School


About the author

Iria Vasquez-Paez

I have a B.A. in creative writing from San Francisco State. Can people please donate? I'm very low-income. I need to start an escape the Ferengi plan.

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