10 things to know about groundwater: 3 & 4

Hidden Treasure: 10 reasons to know more about groundwater / 2 priorities to take seriously – briefing note

GROUNDWATER is the water stored in the pores and other openings in rocks below ground. It is a precious resource which must be safeguarded for the benefit of mankind.


3. If no abstraction (pumping) takes place, then recharged water discharges naturally to swamps, streams and rivers

This natural outflow is important because it sustains springs and river flows in dry periods and supports wetland ecosystems (lakes and swamps) which are important to people and livestock.

Reliable river flows and lake levels are also critical for hydropower; cooling of thermal power plants; water transport and fisheries.

4. Water in streams, rivers and lakes and groundwater are closely connected

  • Globally about 25% of the flow in rivers comes from groundwater
  • Globally about 90% of groundwater recharge joins rivers

Rivers may be fed by groundwater, or they may feed groundwater. Whether a stream is gaining or losing depends on location and time of year.


What you can do:

Join the conversation through the RWSN Sustainable Groundwater Development community


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