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What is
Freshwater is defined as having a
low salt concentration usually less
than 1%.
It is a naturally occurring water on
Earths surface in ice sheets, ice
caps, glaciers, icebergs, bogs,
ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams.

What is groundwater?
Groundwater is water located
beneath the earths surface in soil
pore spaces and in the fractures of
rock formation.

Importance of

Rural areas are highly dependent in their own


wells to provide all their water needs. Town and

city dwellers are also dependent in groundwater
as vast majority of water supply system.
Farmers use groundwater for irrigating crops and
for their animals.
Commercial businesses and industries depend on
groundwater for their processes and operations.
Other industries rely on clean groundwater for
the production of electric power, food,
beverages, and material production.
Groundwater is also very important as it
supplies springs, and much of the water in our
ponds, marshland, swamps, streams, rivers and

Cause of Groundwater
Lowering of the Water Table
Excessive pumping can lower the groundwater
t able, and cause wells to no longer able to reach
the groundwater.
Increased Cost
As the water table lowers, the water must be
pumped farther to reach the surface, using more
Reduced Surface Water Supplies
Groundwater and surface water are connected.
groundwater is overused, the lakes,
streams, and rivers connected to groundwater can
also have their supply diminished.

Land Subsidence
Land subsidence occurs when there is a
loss of support below ground.
Water Quality Concerns
Excessive pumping in coastal areas can
cause saltwater to move inland and
upward, resulting in saltwater
contamination of the water supply.

People Lack Access to

Freshwater due to

Water Pollution
Water pollution is the contamination of the
bodies of water. It occurs when pollutants are
directly or indirectly into water bodies without
adequate treatment to remove harmful
Water contamination
Water contaminationis the term used to
hazardous materials of any kind
that are polluting a source of water.



Natural Resources
Some substances found naturally in rocks or
soils can
become dissolved in ground water.
Other naturally occurring substances, such as
decaying organic matter, can move in ground
water as particles.
Septic Systems
One of the main causes of ground water
contamination is the effluent (outflow) from septic
tanks, cesspools, and privies.
Improper Disposal of Hazardous Waste
Hazardous waste should always be disposed of
properly, that is to say, by a licensed hazardous
waste handler or through municipal hazardous
waste collection days.

Releases and Spills from Stored Chemicals

and Petroleum Products
If an underground storage tank develops a leak,
which commonly occurs as the tank ages and
corrodes, its contents can migrate through the soil
and reach the ground water.
Once in the landfill, chemicals can leach into
ground water by means of precipitation and
Surface Impoundments
Surface impoundments are relatively shallow
ponds or lagoons used by industries and
municipalities to store, treat, and dispose of liquid

Sewers and Other Pipelines

Sewer pipes carrying wastes sometimes leak
into the surrounding soil and ground water.
Pesticide and Fertilizer Use
Farmers, homeowners, businesses (e.g., golf
courses), utilities, and municipalities use these
chemicals. A number of these pesticides and
fertilizers (some highly toxic) have entered and
contaminated groundwater.
Drainage Wells
Drainage wells are used in wet areas to help
water and transport it to deeper soils. These
may contain agricultural chemicals and

Injection Wells/Floor Drains

Injection wells are used to collect storm water
runoff, collect spilled liquids, dispose of
and dispose of industrial, commercial, and
utility wastes.
Improperly Constructed Wells
Problems associated with improperly
wells can result in ground water contamination
when contaminated surface or ground water is
introduced into the well.
Improperly Abandoned Wells
These wells can act as a conduit through which
contaminants can reach an aquifer if the well
has been removed, as is often done, or if the

Active Drinking Water Supply Wells

Poorly constructed wells can result in ground
water contamination. Construction problems
allow outside water and any accompanying
contaminants to flow into the well.
Poorly Constructed Irrigation Wells
These wells can allow contaminants to enter
ground water. Often pesticides and fertilizers are
applied in the immediate vicinity of wells on
agricultural land.
Mining Activities
Active and abandoned mines can contribute to
ground water contamination. Precipitation can
soluble minerals from the mine wastes
levels higher than maximum contaminant levels
or health advisory levels.

People Lack Access to

The UN suggests that each person needs 20-50
litres of water a day to ensure their basic needs for
drinking, cooking and cleaning.
Source: World Water Assessment Programme
11 % of the global
population, or 783 million
people, are still without
access improved sources
of drinking water.
Source: JMP 2012

Water Scarcity
Water scarcity can be defined as a condition in
which people lack sufficient water or else do not
have access to safe water supplies.

Physical water scarcityis the situation

where there is not enoughwaterto meet all
demands, including that needed
forecosystems to function effectively.
Economic water scarcity is caused by a
lack of investment in water or insufficient
human capacity to satisfy the demand for
Water Stress
Water stressis the difficulty of obtaining
sources of fresh water for use, because of
depleting resources.

Effects of Agriculture to Water