USGS publishes groundwater availability report
A new report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) examines the nation's groundwater availability and outlines a strategy for future national and regional studies to help state and local agencies make informed water availability decisions, according to a USGS news release.
The report, "Ground-Water Availability in the United States" is part of the government's effort to help address the increasing competition for water. Groundwater supplies half of the country's drinking water. The report is available at http://pubs.usgs.gov/cir/1323.
Declines in groundwater levels have led to concerns about the future availability of ground water, which provides half the country's drinking water and is essential to the vitality of agriculture and industry, as well as to the health of rivers, wetlands, and estuaries throughout the country.
"An assessment of groundwater availability is critical for state and local agencies to make decisions about important issues such as drinking water, industrial and energy production, and agricultural uses," said William Alley, USGS Office of Ground-Water chief, in the news release.
The report is an outgrowth of a pilot study, National Assessment of Water Availability and Use that began in 2005 at the request of Congress. The report also builds on regional groundwater availability studies recently undertaken as part of the USGS Ground‑Water Resources Program.