What is the Ground Water Atlas of the United States?

This Ground Water Atlas of the United States is a series of USGS publications that describe the location, the extent, and the geologic and hydrologic characteristics of the important aquifers of the Nation. The series consists of 13 chapters that describe the regional groundwater resources that collectively cover 50 States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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What is the difference between a confined and an unconfined (water-table) aquifer?

A confined aquifer is an aquifer below the land surface that is saturated with water. Layers of impermeable material are both above and below the aquifer, causing it to be under pressure so that when the aquifer is penetrated by a well, the water will rise above the top of the aquifer. A water-table--or unconfined--aquifer is an aquifer whose...

Where can I find detailed sampling methods for surface water and groundwater?

USGS protocols for the collection of groundwater and surface-water samples have been published in the report National Field Manual for the Collection of Water-Quality Data. The National Field Manual was published in chapters; copies of each chapter are available online.

If the ground filters water, is groundwater always clean?

Water drawn from a well was once precipitation that fell onto Earth's surface. It seeped into the ground and, over time, occupied the porous space in some subsurface material. Big particles that are in surface streams, such as leaf chunks, will not be seen in groundwater. So, yes, big particles are filtered out by the ground, along with some...

How important is groundwater?

Groundwater, which is in aquifers below the surface of the Earth, is one of the Nation's most important natural resources. Groundwater is the source of about 37 percent of the water that county and city water departments supply to households and businesses (public supply). It provides drinking water for more than 90 percent of the rural population...

What is groundwater?

Groundwater is water that exists underground in saturated zones beneath the land surface. The upper surface of the saturated zone is called the water table. Contrary to popular belief, groundwater does not form underground rivers. It fills the pores and fractures in underground materials such as sand, gravel, and other rock, much the same way that...
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Date published: December 7, 2017

The Quality of the Nation’s Groundwater: Progress on a National Survey

The U.S. Geological Survey is near the midpoint of a complex undertaking to survey the quality of the nation’s largest drinking-water resource.

Current website: https://www.usgs.gov/news/quality-nation-s-groundwater-progress-a-nation...

Date published: March 9, 2017

How Well Do You Know Groundwater

Groundwater, which flows out of sight through aquifers beneath our feet, is one of the Nation’s most important natural resources. In recognition of National Groundwater Awareness Week, March 5–11, 2017, here’s an opportunity to put your knowledge of this vital resource to the test!

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: December 16, 2014

High Plains Aquifer Groundwater Levels Continue to Decline

The U.S. Geological Survey has released a new report detailing changes of groundwater levels in the High Plains Aquifer. The report presents water-level change data in the aquifer for two separate periods: from 1950 – the time prior to significant groundwater irrigation development – to 2013, and 2011 to 2013.

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Aquifers: Map of the Principal Aquifers of the United States
March 13, 2018

Aquifers: Map of the Principal Aquifers of the United States

Aquifers: Map of the Principal Aquifers of the United States

Map of the south, central, and north sections of the study area
April 20, 2016

Groundwater Resources in Orange County

The south, central, and north sections of the study area, the stratified-drift aquifer extent, aquifer areas of thick (10 feet or greater) saturated sand and gravel deposits, and the extent of thick till, Orange County, New York. 

Photo of the discharge from an aquifer pumping test
April 17, 2016

Discharge from an aquifer pumping test (groundwater)

Discharge from a groundwater aquifer pumping test in Sheboygan County, Wis.

September 22, 2011

PubTalk 9/2011 — Tracking the Nation's Groundwater Reserves

--issues facing current and future water supplies

by William Alley, USGS Office of Groundwater

 

  • Ground water is among the Nation's most important natural resources, providing half of our drinking water as well as being essential to agriculture and industry, and the health of ecosystems throughout the country
...
Map of New Jersey Aquifers
November 30, 2000

Aquifer Map

Picture of a detail of the Central New Jersey Aquifer system