Background – Even though water is continually recycled from the ocean into the atmosphere and back to Earth, creating a continuous supply, we often speak of water shortages, especially groundwater shortages. In many respects, groundwater can be viewed as a non-renewable resource like oil and natural gas, because the rate at which mankind withdraws groundwater from aquifers often exceeds the recharge rate.

For example, let’s say that your municipality withdraws 10,000 gallons per day from an aquifer that originally held 1,000,000 gallons. The recharge rate to the aquifer is 2,000 gallons per day.

Your Tasks:

1) Determine how long it will take before the aquifer is depleted in the example above. 2) Do some of your own research and determine how your municipality gets its water. If the water comes from an aquifer, see if you can determine if there is a threat to your water supply.  You might be surprised!

 

Background – Even though water is continually recycled from the ocean into the atmosphere and back to Earth, creating a continuous supply, we often speak of water shortages, especially groundwater shortages. In many respects, groundwater can be viewed as a non-renewable resource like oil and natural gas, because the rate at which mankind withdraws groundwater from aquifers often exceeds the recharge rate.

For example, let’s say that your municipality withdraws 10,000 gallons per day from an aquifer that originally held 1,000,000 gallons. The recharge rate to the aquifer is 2,000 gallons per day.

Your Tasks:

1) Determine how long it will take before the aquifer is depleted in the example above. 2) Do some of your own research and determine how your municipality gets its water. If the water comes from an aquifer, see if you can determine if there is a threat to your water supply.  You might be surprised!