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INTRODUCTION Although 70 percent of the Earths surface is covered by water 97 percent of it is contained in the oceans and is too salty to drink Cunningham and Saigo 1992 Therefor fresh water is a precious resource that in some areas of the world is so scarce that people will fight wars over it About 25 percent of the worlds fresh water is groundwater Although groundwater is not as accessible as surface water lakes rivers and streams people are willing to dig wells to obtain it in areas where the climate is too dry to allow much surface water Many farmers pump water from wells to support irrigation This is often done with windmills a very cheap form of energy In some dry areas like Arizona large cities use groundwater for their entire water supply Although groundwater is an excellent water source there are many complications For example it is a resource that is difficult to assess since it is not directly visible Therefor with out complicated measurements it is hard to say how much water there is left in your well It is also difficult to tell where exactly the source of recharge for your well is Thus if an area near your well becomes polluted the pollution may seep into the groundwater feeding your well The purpose of this project is to explore the subject of groundwater its place in the water cycle how it seeps through the ground and how it accumulates in underground pockets called aquifers The project will also examine the many uses of groundwater in agriculture as well as environmental problems that are presently threatening the quantity and quality of groundwater reserves THE WATER CYCLE The water cycle is a constant movement of water in the air in the ground and on the surface of the Earth It starts when water evaporates from plants the ground lakes rivers and oceans This is called evapotranspiration
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