Ground water is water which lies in an aquifer below ground surface. Major aquifers are generally contained in deposits of gravel or other highly porous alluvial material. Aquifers are recharged by seepage from bodies of water and by precipitation. Some aquifers, such as the Ogallala Aquifer beneath the Great Plains of North America, contain water from earlier wetter periods. Intensive withdrawal from such aquifers may exceed the rate of recharge, water mining.

On a global basis pumping of ground water is unregulated and unmonitored. However, widespread depletion of aquifers has increased interest in water management of ground water.[1] As of 2013 satellite monitoring of ground water had become possible making physical access unnecessary. Data showed substantial depletion of ground water resources in the Middle East.[2]


Many ground water resources are unmanaged or managed in an unsustainable manner.[3]


  1. "Satellite Tracking of Middle East Aquifers Points to the End of ‘Data Denial’" post by Andrew C. Revkin on The New York Times blog "Dot Earth February 23, 2013
  2. "The Middle East Lost a Dead Sea-Size Amount of Water in 7 Years" post by Jay Famiglietti of University of California, Irvine on the blog "News Watch" National Geographic on February 22, 2013
  3. "Global majority faces water shortages 'within two generations' Experts call on governments to start conserving water in face of climate change, pollution and over-use" article by Fiona Harvey, environment correspondent, The Guardian 24 May 2013

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