Wednesday, September 13, 2023

The Wednesday Wetness

A recent investigation from The New York Times, using data from across the country, found the United States is “squandering” its vast supply of groundwater by using it too quickly. The investigation focuses on areas including the Southwest, parts of Texas and California and, perhaps unexpectedly, Maryland. Monitoring wells show the water level is dropping across Maryland. The water is getting further away from the surface, meaning there’s less water underground than there used to be.

About 75% of the monitoring wells around Maryland have seen water levels drop over the last 40 years, some by as much as 100 feet, according to the Times investigation.

One area of the state seems to be of particular concern: rapidly growing Charles County.

“Most of the water we’re pulling out of the ground is thousands of years old,” Jason Groth, the county’s deputy director of planning and growth management, told The Times. He said the county would be out of groundwater within the decade.
The wells in our water system are monitored by USGS on a regular basis, every few years, and show little decline in height over the years. If, per chance, the two aquifers the we do draw on, the Nanjemoy and the Aquia (200-300 ft deep), were to dry up, we would have to sink wells to the Patapsco Aquifer, about 1000 feet deep. While that would be very expensive, it would probably solve the problem in the long run. 

The Wombat has Rule 5 Sunday: Cowgirl Style up on time and under budget at The Other McCain.

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