Introduction: Many people assume that water is

Introduction: Many people assume that water is an unlimited natural resource. Is this true? Although water appears abundant, recent circumstances indicate that it is seriously vulnerable to pollution and depletion. Throughout this essay we will examine what ground water is, how it is important in the water cycle, how its contamination can affect us, and what we can do to protect our ground water from contamination. What is Ground Water: Ground water is the water found in spaces between soil particles and rocks, within cracks of the bedrock. Ground water constitutes approximately 4% of all water in the hydrologic cycle. (Averett, McKnight, 1986) Some ground water can be found beneath the land surface in most of the United States. Because of its availability and general good quality, ground water is widely used for household needs and other purposes. Water can be found beneath the ground almost everywhere. About 97% of the worlds fresh liquid water is ground water. The quality and amount of ground water that is available varies from place to place. Major reservoirs of ground water are referred to as aquifers. Aquifers in some of the provinces extended underground far beyond the areas where they are mapped at or near the land surface. (http://capp.water.usgs.gov/gwa/ch_1/L-text1.html) These aquifers occur in two types of geologic formations. Consolidated formations are those composed of solid rock with ground water found in the cracks. Unconsolidated formations are composed of sand and gravel, cobblestones, or loose earth or soil material. The amount of ground water in an unconsolidated formation varies depending on how closely packed the solid materials are and how fine-grained they are. Sand and gravel, and cobblestone formations are generally high-yield aquifers, whereas, finer-grained earth materials may have low yields. Aquifers and aquifer systems can be grouped into three categories, depen…

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