28 May '12, 8am

The Endangered Waters Beneath Our Feet

The Endangered Waters Beneath Our Feet

Fish-shaped Long Island, New York, is underlain by aquifers that are its sole source of drinking water. Photo courtesy of NASA/Wikimedia Commons. Last week, the conservation organization American Rivers released its annual list of the nation’s most-endangered rivers. I got to thinking, what if we had a sister list of most-endangered aquifers? After all, water from underground meets 20 percent of U.S. water demand for drinking, crop irrigation and everything else. It also provides the base flows that keep many rivers and streams from drying up during the summer months. So groundwater is crucial to our economies and ecosystems, yet it’s out of sight – and usually out of mind, as well. Which is why a most-endangered aquifers list might help. On such a list I would name the Ogallala Aquifer beneath the Great Plains, which supplies 27 percent of the nation’s irrigated farmland ...

Full article: http://www.postcarbon.org/blog-post/926027-the-endangered...

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