What Is Groundwater?

Some groundwater can be pumped from faucets like this one.

Groundwater is just what it sounds like: water that comes from the ground. It is found in aquifers beneath Earth’s surface, where it fills the space between soil, sand, and rock. Groundwater can be a few feet below ground or hundreds of feet below!

How do we use this water if it is underground? Some comes to the surface when aquifers are full. This is called a spring. Some is released into lakes and streams. What happens when we use the water? Rain and melted snow replenish, or refill, the groundwater.

However, in some places, groundwater is used faster than it is replenished. Groundwater is used to irrigate crops. In addition, more than half of the people in the United States rely on groundwater. Many homes have a well. A well is a pipe in the ground that fills with water and is pumped to the surface.

What Can You Do? What can you do to conserve groundwater? Small actions can make a big difference:

  • Turn off the water while you brush your teeth.
  • Check your house for leaky faucets and toilets.
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Only run full loads in the washer and dishwasher.
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Reading Response Click on this link to respond to your reading. Print out the response page or upload it to your classroom site.

What Can You Do?

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