Which environmental program protects the supply of groundwater?
Ground water is water that is under the ground. Water from rainfall, snowmelt, lakes, streams, and wetlands seeps into the ground. The water collects in the spaces in materials like sand and gravel, similar to water in a sponge. [ It can also collect in fractures in hard rock. These underground "ponds" are called aquifers.
Ground water provides drinking water through wells, as well as base
flow for many streams and rivers. This base flow is especially important during dry summer months for fish.................Ground water is important to the economy and environment of Washington State. Over 60 percent of Washington residents get their drinking water from ground water. Ground water is also used for irrigation, agriculture, and a number of other industries in the state.
Because ground water is underground and out of sight, various chemicals used or dumped on the ground's surface can infiltrate into the ground, or leak from septic systems, and end up in the ground water. Once these pollutants enter ground water, they can be difficult to detect by taste or smell, and difficult to remove. They can then end up in drinking water and water used for irrigation. Because ground water supplies many of our streams, especially in the late summer, pollutants in ground water can end up in those rivers and streams. .............. ]
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