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What is Groundwater, aquifers and wells?

This week is National Groundwater Awareness Week. Water is one of our most valuable and precious resources and we hope that you can share information about the importance of groundwater in our lives with your community.

Did you know?

  • 96.5% of the earth’s water is found in the oceans (too salty for drinking, growing crops, and most industrial uses).
  • Only 2.5% of the earth’s water is fresh.

About 3% of the earth’s water is fresh, but most of it is frozen in glaciers and ice-caps.  Less than 1% of the total water on earth is readily available for human use.  Most of this water is located underground and is what we call groundwater.     Groundwater is water that infiltrated into the ground through porous soils and rocks. It fills pores and fractures in layers of underground rock called aquifers.

In Georgia groundwater resources are available in a variety of different aquifers as seen in the below figure from the USGS.

 Groundwater can be found in surficial aquifers (close to the surface) and in deep aquifers.  Based on the location, the quality of this water can vary. People are dependent upon clean groundwater supplies for many household uses such as drinking and cooking as well as irrigating much of our agricultural production. We will be sharing interesting facts and tips for understanding and protecting our groundwater resources all week through the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Water Resources Team website and newsletter. Please share these groundwater awareness stories with your community!

Looking at the above image, do you know what type of aquifer and well does your drinking water come from?

During this week, we will provide additional information about groundwater, wells, well water testing and other information that hopefully is interesting and can be a fun way to learn about groundwater.  We will also provide some resources that can be used for educating others about groundwater resources.

Daily Resources:

  1. UGA Bulletin 1217 “Protecting Georgia’s Surface Water Resources”
  2.   More information on water resources can be found on the UGA CAES Water at UGA website — — under Well Water tab

#UGAWater, #UGAExtension

3 thoughts on “What is Groundwater, aquifers and wells?

  1. It made sense to me when you said that there are many households that are dependent on water wells for their drinking water and other household needs. With this in mind, I will consider hiring a well drilling contractor that has a good track record of quality services. We always end up experiencing water outages in our area, so we are looking for an alternative source of water. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. It was really informative when you mentioned that groundwater is found in surficial aquifers. I would imagine that the depth of an aquifer can depend on the part of the world you are in. If you are wanting to drill a well to access the aquifer, you are going to need to know how deep it is.

  3. I could not agree more when you said that drinking and cooking as well as irrigating much of our agricultural products are mostly dependent on clean groundwater supplies. With this in mind, my husband and I will consider having a water well installed before this month ends. We always experience water shortages in our area, so your tips are helpful.