Groundwater

A Critical Source for Drinking Water

groundwater

 Photo courtesy of National Groundwater Association

Groundwater exists below the earth’s surface in the space between soil and rocks. Groundwater is a source for many drinking water supplies, especially for rural communities. Learn more about groundwater supplies, storage, and recharge.



Public-Supply Wells See Elevated Levels of Lithium

new USGS study reports that about 45% of U.S. public-supply wells and about 37% of domestic supply wells have concentrations of lithium that could present a potential human-health risk. 

Just this January, lithium was added to the EPA's proposed Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule. The Rule is used by the EPA to collect data for contaminants that are suspected to be present in drinking water and that do not have health-based standards set under the Safe Drinking Water Act. 

This is the first national-scale study of lithium occurrence in groundwater; lithium was analyzed in 3,140 samples of untreated groundwater collected from 33 principal aquifers across the U.S. Concentrations of lithium were at levels presenting a potential human-health risk in about 40% of samples of untreated groundwater.


Lithium is an alkali metal that occurs naturally in groundwater. Drinking water with elevated lithium may be related to negative human-health effects including impaired thyroid and kidney function.


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You may also search decades of articles on this or other topics published in the Journal AWWA, Opflow and AWWA Water Science

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AWWA also joined with the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies and the National Association of Water Companies in issuing a Joint Policy Statement on Hydraulic Fracturing  focused on the protection of drinking water sources and supplies.

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AWWA members are recognized globally for their industry expertise and their generosity in sharing that expertise for a better world through better water. AWWA members participate in committee activities, developing conference programs, writing technical manuals, developing standards, creating educational content and contributing to AWWA publications.

Committee members primarily interact through conference calls, emails, and face to face meetings at conferences and events. Learn more about volunteering for an AWWA committee.

The following committees are active in addressing groundwater issues:

 

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