Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

Winter 2005


Today, ground water is the most extracted natural resource in the world. It provides more than half of humanity’s fresh- water for everyday uses such as drinking, cooking, and hygiene, as well as twenty percent of irrigated agriculture. In Europe, between sixty and ninety-nine percent of drinking water comes from ground water; in the United States, that number is between one-half to ninety-seven percent. Overall, water use today is increasing four to eight percent per year, far outpacing the global population growth of 1.4 percent annually.