This water can be used for various uses, such as irrigation, energy production and the supply of drinking water for the population. However, they may also be vulnerable to pollution and overexploitation.
Groundwater has several important characteristics:
- They are contained in underground aquifers: Aquits are porous and permeable geological layers that house groundwater. These layers can be of rock, sand, gravel or clay.
- They are a non-renewable resource: Once groundwater is extracted, it is not automatically renewed as with rainwater or rivers. Groundwater is renewed through natural processes such as rainwater infiltration or snowfall.
- They can be used for various uses: Groundwater is used for irrigation, drinking water supply, energy production (e.g. thermal plants), among others.
- They may be vulnerable to pollution: Groundwater can be affected by contamination of surface sources, such as toxic waste spills or agriculture.
- They can be affected by overexploitation: Excessive extraction of groundwater can cause a decline in groundwater levels and may affect water availability for future uses.
Importance of groundwater
Groundwater is an important source of drinking water for many communities and also play an important role in maintaining ecosystems and hydrological balance.
In addition, groundwater can be used for irrigation and power generation.
However, excessive use or mismanagement can cause problems of contamination and overexploitation of aquifers.
It is therefore important to ensure sustainable groundwater management to ensure its long-term availability.
Contamination of groundwater
Groundwater pollution can occur in several ways. Some of the main causes of groundwater pollution include:
- Dumping of toxic chemicals in the soil, such as pesticides, herbicides, industrial chemicals, and toxic waste.
- Excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture.
- Exition of waste from industry and human activities, such as fuel and heavy metal waste.
- Use of septic tanks and inadequate sewer wells.
- Oil and gas mining activities.
Groundwater pollution can have serious consequences for human health and the environment.
It can cause health and health problems, such as cancer and neurological damage, and can also affect the quality of drinking water and aquatic life.
It is therefore important to take measures to prevent and control groundwater pollution.