Life as we know it would be impossible without groundwater. It is the world’s most extracted natural resource, and it supports our ecosystems. Don’t take groundwater for granted. Pay it forward during National Groundwater Awareness Week, March 8-14, 2020, by letting others know the importance of groundwater and asking them to pass it along.
Groundwater Awareness Week
Groundwater Awareness Week (GWAW) is an annual observance established in 1999 to highlight the responsible development, management, and use of groundwater. The event is also a platform to encourage yearly water well testing and well maintenance to prevent waterborne illnesses. This year, NGWA and its partners will be focusing their advocacy during GWAW to inspire the next generation of groundwater professionals. Fostering an interest in groundwater science and an understanding of its importance is making a critical investment in our planet’s future.
Groundwater Facts and Figures
- Only 1 percent of the water on Earth is useable, 99 percent of which is groundwater.
- The United States uses 349 billion gallons of freshwater every day.
- Groundwater is 20 to 30 times larger than all U.S. lakes, streams, and rivers combined.
- Groundwater accounts for 33 percent of all the water used by U.S. municipalities.
- 44 percent of the U.S. population depends on groundwater for its drinking water supply.
- More than 13.2 million households have their own well, representing 34 million people.
- 53.5 billion gallons of groundwater are used for agricultural irrigation each day. In 1990 that number was 2.2 billion.
- The largest U.S. aquifer is Ogallala, underlying 250,000 square miles stretching from Texas to South Dakota. Scientists estimate it could take 6000 years to naturally refill the aquifer if it were ever fully depleted.
- California pumps 10.7 billion gallons of groundwater each day, a third more than the second-highest state, Texas.
- Groundwater is the world’s most extracted raw material with withdrawal rates in the estimated range of 259 trillion gallons per year.