Groundwater Depletion, What It Is, Causes, Problems, and Solutions

If you are a homeowner, you probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about groundwater depletion. When you turn on the faucet, you expect that the water will be there. However, water is rapidly becoming a very important resource. The more people there are on the planet, the less water we have. Do you know how much water is in your area? Do you know if there are problems with your groundwater? If you aren’t sure about your groundwater, here is some information for you.

What Is Groundwater?

Unlike the water in rivers and lakes, groundwater is water that you can’t see. Groundwater is in the ground. Usually, you can find it in spaces between layers of rock. Groundwater makes up about 33 percent of the total water available for use. Because it is underground, cities and towns use groundwater for their water supplies. It provides water for 50 percent of the U.S. population. Rural areas frequently use groundwater as well. It provides nearly all the drinking water and 50 billion gallons of water for agricultural use.

What Is Depletion of Groundwater?

One of the largest groundwater issues is depletion. Groundwater undergoes a cycle that depletes, then, replenishes it. Usually, rain replenishes groundwater either directly or indirectly through runoff. In the past, people took groundwater out of the ground slowly, and, then, the rain put it back. However, many areas in the United States take the groundwater out of the ground quickly. Groundwater is disappearing at a faster rate than the rain can return it.

What Are the Major Causes of Groundwater Depletion?

There are areas in the United States that have a serious depletion of their groundwater. These areas include the Midwest, California, Arkansas, Louisiana, and southern New Jersey. Several factors are working together to deplete their groundwater. First, many of these areas are experiencing a lack of rainfall. For example, there are areas in the Midwest that are usually drier than areas in the South. The area is also sparsely populated. However, a lot of large farms are pumping groundwater out of the ground to irrigate crops. Also, some areas in the South and New Jersey are growing so fast, there isn’t enough groundwater to keep up. If large farms or factories need water to make products, companies will extract the groundwater. Often, they do it so quickly, the groundwater doesn’t have time to replenish itself.

What Are Common Problems?

There are several problems that groundwater depletion can cause. If you use a well, you may notice it drying up because its water table is low. You might also notice that the water levels are lower in your local streams and lakes. The quality of your water may not be as clear or taste as good as it used to. There is less filtering out of any impurities. You may have to pay more to pump water from the ground. You might also notice sinkholes or areas on your property that have shifted because of the groundwater’s depletion.

How Do You Solve Groundwater Depletion?

Groundwater depletion is difficult to solve. However, there are several ways that you can conserve it. First, you need to reduce the amount of water you use. Turn off the sink when you brush your teeth. Take shorter showers or baths. You can also catch rainwater to use outdoors for your plants. Make sure you only do laundry or run the dishwasher when both are full. Don’t dump any chemicals into the water supply or onto the ground.

If you need help figuring out groundwater depletion, contact All American Environmental. We are an environmental consulting and contracting company who specializes in soil and groundwater.