To these kids, water "magically" comes out of the ground.

Drawing of kids using a hand-pump well to fill a canteen.

Detailed Description

The Magic of Groundwater

These kids probably think there is some kind of magic happening here ... they pull down a lever and out of the ground below their feet comes clear, cool freshwater. They (and maybe you) may not realize that there is an immense amount of water in aquifers below the earth's surface. In fact, there is a over a thousand times more water in the ground than is in all the world's rivers and lakes.

Some water underlies the Earth's surface almost everywhere, beneath hills, mountains, plains, and deserts. It is not always accessible, or fresh enough for use without treatment, and it's sometimes difficult to locate or to measure and describe. This water may occur close to the land surface, as in a marsh, or it may lie many hundreds of feet below the surface, as in some arid areas of the western United States. Water at very shallow depths might be just a few hours old; at moderate depth, it may be 100 years old; and at great depth or after having flowed long distances from places of entry, the water may have been in the ground for several thousand years.

Learn about groundwater

Details

Image Dimensions: 1308 x 1527

Date Taken:

Location Taken: US

Credits

USGS