When governments, municipalities or any other water strategy planners plot out their freshwater management stratagems, there are four main sources of freshwater that are usually considered. However, a fifth source should be included in these plans and might very well be the missing piece that solves the puzzle of how we provide fresh water for all.
Let us review these water sources.
1. Surface Water
Surface water is the most obvious source of fresh water. It can be found in rivers, springs, lakes, dams, deltas and so on. Often entire towns and cities are built around the existence of one of these sources of water because they are so essential for sustenance, agriculture and sanitation – not to mention eminently easy to exploit.
The problem with surface water is that it is not very widely distributed, and therefore not everyone has easy access to it. In modern times of high population densities, much of these water sources have become highly coveted and protected. In addition, since it is easy to tap, many surface water sources are under stress. Witness the dire circumstances of the Colorado river and its reservoirs in the southwestern US. Severe water rationing is underway that affects more than 15 million people.
2. Shallow Groundwater
For thousands of years, people have dug wells to find water below the surface. These wells have typically been quite shallow. In fact, the average depth of a water well worldwide is just 10 to 60 feet deep (3 to 18 meters).
Therefore, most shallow groundwater is subject to rainfall and the hydrologic cycle (the cycle of precipitation, evaporation, condensation) – much like surface water – and therefore does not always provide a dependable source of fresh water.
Desalination is the technological process of taking seawater and removing the salt content to make it fresh and drinkable. While there is no end to the supply of seawater for this purpose, the technology involved is expensive and energy-intensive. Large desalination plants need to be built on the seashore and require skilled staff to operate and maintain them at a high cost.
Moreover, these plants are erected near sources of saltwater – the ocean – which means that they are not feasible for producing freshwater for inland regions. Another aspect of desalination is the large amounts of waste which have been typically dumped back into the ocean. There is serious concern over the impact of waste disposal on sea life in coastal regions.
4. Wastewater Treatment
Wastewater is water that has been contaminated through sewage or industrial uses. Much of this water can be collected and processed to clean it of impurities, rendering it potable once more.
Like desalination, this process requires expensive technological investments in wastewater treatment plants. For many communities around the world, such investments are simply not feasible nor economical.
5. The Missing Piece: Deep Seated Water
Deep seated water is the missing piece of the freshwater puzzle. It is made up of large quantities of naturally occurring freshwater that collects in aquifers located deep underground – deeper than shallow groundwater. There is also plenty of it. The US National Groundwater Association estimates there is enough water in the upper two kilometers of the earth’s crust to supply the world’s needs for 6,000 years. With new technology, we are able to locate these sources without having to drill deep wells.
The advantages of Deep Seated Water are many. It is a supplemental source of fresh water that can provide water security to a city, town or area. Deep water is not subject to pollution from sources such as agricultural runoff, sewage, etc. By adding this source of water to the supply, it allows surface water and shallow groundwater to recharge. And, it is an economical and scalable solution that can be implemented quickly.
Using state-of-the-art technology, we at AquaterreX can find deep seated water with near 100% accuracy.
To solve your freshwater management problems, contact us today and let us show you how to get fresh water where others say there is none!