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2005-2006 discussion[edit]

Is the ground water flow parallel to water table? why? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 23:50, 4 December 2005

in an unconfined aquifer (an aquifer with a water table), if there is no recharge from above, the water table is a no-flow boundary or streamline. This means that flow would move parallel to the water table.
If there is significant recharge or flow down through the vadose zone, there would be a component of flow normal to the water table, and flow would therefore not be parallel to it (but unless the recharge is large, flow will *nearly* be parallel to the water table). --kris 23:52, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
[as an aside, I don't think this talk page is probably the best place to learn about groundwater.] --kris 23:52, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Just a note, when I checked the Environment Canada Website and the Coastal Ocean Institute Website, I got the impression that the vast majority of usable freshwater is groundwater (Coastal Ocean Institute Website says 97%). I don't doubt the statistic that 20% of the world's total freshwater is groundwater, but the statistic can be a bit misleading to someone who doesn't know the other 80% of this freshwater is in the icecaps and inaccessable to nearly everyone. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Later discussion[edit]

'Groundwater' is the correct spelling in Australia in any case

Are you sure? Many engineers in US use the single term out of poor education in english. It's easier for them to remember. But it is still incorrect. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dbt23 (talkcontribs) 14:25, 7 September 2006

Groundwater as one word is incorrect. As a noun, it is 'ground water' and as an adjective it is 'ground-water'. See, —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kdoudman (talkcontribs) 20:17, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Groundwater as one word is the industry standard and the correct spelling in the UK. Look at to see Driscoll and Freeze & Cherry, two standard textbooks both using groundwater. Also the Environment Agency in the UK use groundwater — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:46, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

Underwater streams[edit]

I have often heard people refer to 'underwater streams', as if the water flowed underground in some kind of narrow channel. Dowsers sometimes refer to this, I believe.

However, I suspect this never happens, apart from caves in limestone areas (and possibly lava tubes, but I suspect there's not much water in lava flows). And I suppose you could get pockets in fractured rock, although such pockets probably fill up with clay rather quickly. Rather, I suspect that groundwater is fairly uniformly distributed in the ground, and furthermore that any flow is extremely slow. Fast enough to re-charge a well, but certainly not like a stream.

If that's correct, then I would imagine an artesian spring would be the result of a relatively permeable rock layer being exposed in a very small area (or of a limestone cave, of course).

Can anyone confirm this? And if so, edit the article to correct this common misconception (if it is a misconception!). Mcswell (talk) 19:58, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

Subsidence and aquifer capacity[edit]

The section on subsidence seems entirely wrong to me - I was under the impression that subsidence occurs where the aquifer is of compressible soil, and that only some part of the subsidence is recoverable, and with it, the capacity. Can someone provide a reference for the theory expounded in the subsidence subsection? Argyriou (talk) 02:03, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

A small fraction of the subsidence is elastic, and therefore recoverable. The vast majority of the land subsidence in most cases is non-elastic, since the clays and silts in aquitards have re-arranged and cannot simply re-inflate back to their pre-development state. If you Google for "USGS subsidence California", you will find lots of USGS report and papers which state the theory and show consolidation data to back it up (I can remember seeing some figures which show there were feet of subsidence and a few inches of rebound in San Jose). There was subsidence in the central valley and San Jose area which the USGS did a bunch of reports on over the years. --kris 18:42, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
I understand consolidation and rebound (I'm a geotechnical engineer). However, it's the contention that subsidence comes from consolidation of the aquitard that I question. There are plenty of soil deposits in which water flows moderately well horizontally, but poorly vertically, including those in the Bay margins and the Central Valley. Those layers are subject to consolidation, and thus would lose capacity as aquifers as they settled. The article as written appears to believe that all aquifers are essentially granular soils or rock formations, and that subsidence is related to water draining out of the aquitards, not the aquifers. Argyriou (talk) 19:06, 21 November 2006 (UTC)


this is very resourceful for research for school and i think you should make more web sites like this. thank you... do not write back :) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 14:58, 16 April 2007 (UTC).

Safe Drinking Water Act[edit]

In my quick scan of this article, I did not see any reference to the Safe Drinking Water Act which regulates discharges that might affect groundwater. Some sort of reference should be included. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 21:51, 14 May 2007 (UTC).

see -- Safe Drinking Water Act
I don't know if they want groundwater to be expanded more to include the water act or not. Brian Pearson 14:51, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
It might be worth including something, but that would also add a strong U.S.-centric bias to the article. Better would be to discuss legal mechanisms for protecting groundwater worldwide, and include reference to the US act, and to similar laws in other countries. Argyriou (talk) 16:51, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Sounds good. I'm not up to it, now. Maybe somebody else can do it. Brian Pearson 01:48, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Cleaning groundwater pollution; transgenic poplars[edit]

Transgenic poplars can clean up a number of contaminants in the groundwater. [1] Brian Pearson 04:35, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Problems deforestation[edit]

if i had good citations i'd put this directly in the article, but it is my understanding that forests, in particular, are the largest single natural phenomenon for both cleaning, and maintaining a natural aquifer. since forests prevent run-off from leaving the forest floor, both though preventing surface groundwater evaporation, and leaving organic debris that 'soaks' up rainfall until it becomes ground water, as well as increasing the amount of 'precipitation' that returns to the atmosphere after a rain fall, causing collateral rainfall downwind, usually withing a day or two of the first rainfall... it is my understanding that the rapid deforestation of Brazil's rain-forest has caused parts of the amazon river to drop by a lot. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:43, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Regional Ground Water Summit 2009, March 5-6, 2009 in CII Chandigarh[edit]

In the Regional Ground Water Summit 2009, March 5-6, 2009 in CII Chandigarh the following point was very interesting. Where there is coal, there is no diamond and where there is oil, there is no water! The water is not there because the space is occupied with oil.

We must individually conserve rain water in a drum to water the plants at home.Isn't it simple to store the rain water via a pipe in a drum? Swaranjit (talk) 01:19, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Initiator: Dr. Swaranjit Singh Cameotra, Deputy Director, Chandigarh —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:16, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

I am interested to work on As and fluorides in ground water and am currently preparing a project for submission — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:35, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

Kanye West[edit]

In the "water cycle" section it is stated that "Kanye West is the manns". I think this statement needs to be supported by a credible source. It may well be true that this person is "the man", but for all we know he could be some sort of arrogant, infantile rap musician of questionable talent who is prone to making unwanted interruptions at music award shows. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:36, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Removed section from article[edit]

Moved from article, as this is far too in-depth and location-specific for this article.

Argyriou (talk) 20:17, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

A possible solution to over-use of groundwater in India[edit]

As ageing large-scale surface irrigation schemes have become increasingly inefficient, and farmers have begun growing a wider range of crops requiring water on demand, the number of groundwater wells in India has exploded.[1] In 1960, there were fewer than 100,000 such wells; by 2006 the figure had risen to nearly 12 million.[2] In India, a possible solution to over-use of groundwater is emerging, known as 'groundwater recharge'. It involves capturing rainwater that would otherwise run off, and using it to refill aquifers. Since 2000, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) has been working with the Indian authorities to help improve the availability of water for agriculture in India. In 2006, India’s finance minister invited IWMI to submit policy recommendations based on its research on groundwater depletion. One of the key recommendations was to instigate a programme of recharging groundwater across the 65% of India that has hard-rock aquifers. As a result, the Indian government allocated Rs 1800 crore (US$400million) to fund dug-well recharge projects (a dug-well is a wide, shallow well, often lined with concrete) in 100 districts within seven states where water stored in hard-rock aquifers has been over-exploited. These geological formations have a much lower capacity to store rainwater than alluvial areas with porous sand or clay rocks, hence being given priority. The money is sufficient to fund seven million structures to be installed on dug-wells to divert monsoon runoff. The structures include a de-siltation chamber, plus pipes to collect surplus rainwater and divert de-silted water from the chamber to the well.[3] As of the end of November 2009, funds amounting to Rs. 216.98 crore (including Rs. 199.98 crore as subsidy to beneficiaries and 17 crore for IEC/Capacity Building activities) had been released to the concerned states. Subsidies had been released to 566,637 beneficiaries.[4]


  1. ^ Mukherji, A. Revitalising Asia’s Irrigation: To sustainably meet tomorrow’s food needs 2009, IWMI and FAO
  2. ^ Chapter 10: The Groundwater Recharge Movement in India, By Sakthivadivel, R. in The Agricultural Groundwater Revolution, Ed. Giordano, M. and Villholth, K, CABI Publications, 2007
  3. ^ Influencing irrigation policy in India, Success Story 6, 2010, International Water Management Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  4. ^ Initiatives in Water Resources, Indian Current Affairs, December 30, 2009, page accessed 5 May 2011

Groundwater Rule[edit]

The section on the groundwater rule (GWR) seems out of place. GWR deals specifically with US drinking water regulations pertaining only to public water systems that use groundwater--not private wells. Including it here seems too specific for this. -- (talk) 03:47, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Remove some superfluous links in the External Links section?[edit]

As far as I understand Wikipedia, the external links section should be used very sparingly and not as a collection of links to various NGOs, universities, etc. I therefore suggest that this section is cleaned up and reduced to max. 3-4 external links which are really the most important, worldwide websites/organisations on groundwater issues. I have already removed 2 now which were too specific (India, Australia). EvM-Susana (talk) 20:46, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

Expand the section on groundwater pollution?[edit]

I have expanded the section on groundwater pollution a bit (regarding pollution from on-site sanitation) but I think it needs some further work, e.g. the part on pollution from landfill sites. Also pollution from industrial sites? It could even eventually be expanded into a Wikipedia article on its own as it's so important. EvM-Susana (talk) 20:46, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

Create a spin-off article on groundwater pollution[edit]

I am proposing to created a spin-off article on groundwater pollution as this merits its own article. I looked at the article on water pollution but it also only mentions groundwater pollution in passing. So I think a separate article would be helpful. Is anyone watching this page and has an opinion on it? E.g. JMWt EvM-Susana (talk) 13:59, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

sounds like a good plan, but also sounds like a big task - there are many aspects of groundwater pollution. JMWt (talk) 14:02, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the heads up. I would start by moving most of the content from the existing article on the topic "groundwater pollution" to a new article, and then slowly but surely flesh out the new article, hopefully with the help of other editors, too. Members of the working group 11 of the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance could get involved ideally. EvM-Susana (talk) 21:04, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
OK, done, article created: groundwater pollution. Please help me folks to build it up further over time. EvM-Susana (talk) 22:11, 18 March 2015 (UTC)