A Critical Source for Drinking Water


 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.


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

Sustainable Water Management

The Sustainable Water Management Conference brings together water sector organizations and professionals to discuss all aspects of resilient and efficient water management. Attendees will gain insights into best practices for managing water resources, source water protection, sustainable utility planning, analyzing the costs and benefits of water conservation, and exploring alternative water sources including stormwater and reuse. 

Water Quality and Technology Conference

Water professionals around the world attend the Water Quality Technology Conference & Exposition, the event of the year for providing answers to improve water quality in a continually changing environment. Plan now to attend this important event featuring an unparalleled technical program, extensive networking opportunities, and the latest innovations in water quality technology and services.

AWWA Annual Conference and Exposition 

AWWA's Annual Conference and Exposition is where the most current industry topics, issues, and trends will be discussed. The professional program features subject matter experts covering a range of key water topics to address your challenges.

AWWA Policy Statements

AWWA's policy statements are brief statements on protecting and improving water supply, water quality, management, and the interests of the public and the environment. They are written by consensus, subject to review and comment by AWWA committees, councils, and members. Because they represent AWWA's position on these matters, they are approved by the AWWA Executive Committee of the board of directors.


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.

Technical Committee Engagement

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: