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Managing Groundwater Sustainability Essay

1069 words - 5 pages

Due to its extraordinarily high quality and availability, we take groundwater as an advantage and now we experience groundwater management problems all over the world. Ground water contributes worldwide about twenty percent of people’s fresh water (Kinzelbach, Bauer, Siegfried, and Brunner). Groundwater is considered the most suitable for drinking, but we didn’t realize that over pumping ground water could be vulnerable to degradation, which leads to drying wetlands, deterioration in water quality, and increasing salinization. As groundwater cannot be renewed artificially on a large scale, sustainable management of this resource is vital (Kinzelbach, et al.). For groundwater to recharge itself, it would depend on precipitation because it is the main source for creating ground water and it is something out of our control. We experience groundwater depletion due to excessive pumping of an aquifer and this results in degradation of water quality, impacting natural wetlands, and affecting drinking water from contamination, in order to recharge groundwater, we would need to understand what would be impacted, scientific tools to help assist in groundwater sustainability management, and different techniques that we could use to artificially recharge groundwater.
Groundwater depletion occurs when we over pump an aquifer causing degradation in water quality. This can impact our drinking water systems, economic stability, and groundwater level tables. Groundwater originates from precipitation from our water cycle and is divided into two different types of groundwater flow; there are shallow groundwater flow and deep groundwater flow. Shallow groundwater flow also known as groundwater runoff, diverts onto land surfaces and flows back into streams or rivers. While, deep groundwater flow also known as groundwater runout, does not intercept through land surfaces or flow into streams and/or rivers, but instead flows directly into the ocean. Rates of groundwater turnover vary from years to millennia, depending on aquifer location, type, depth, properties, and connectivity (Ponce). If compared to surface water, surface water has a higher turnover rate and a faster recycling cycle.
There are many documented case studies about groundwater depletion all over the world and records that illustrates increases of groundwater depletion throughout the years. Groundwater depletion not only impacts semiarid and arid areas, but if rigorous pumping of groundwater, it can also cause depletion in subhumid regions. There are many impacts that result from groundwater depletion; the first and most direct impact is the loss of baseflow (Ponce). If baseflow disappeared, the effects would be devastating and on an economic perspective, it would be very costly. Without baseflow, it would cause many impacts to surrounding landscapes either from direct impact or indirect. Impacts that are associated with the loss of baseflow include: Increased magnitude and frequency of floods,...

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