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Groundwater

  • By: Christine J. Kirchhoff
  • In: Green Politics: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney & Paul Robbins
  • Subject:Environmental Sociology, Environmental Technology, Policy & Management, Environmental Policy & Law (general)

Water exists in many forms including water vapor, liquid, and ice, all of which are found on Earth including atmospheric moisture, precipitation, soil moisture, groundwater, ice, snow, oceans, and seas; within plants and animals; in lakes, streams, and rivers; and in man-made reservoirs. Water cycles between these forms both visibly, as when atmospheric moisture falls as rain, and invisibly, as when precipitation seeps into the soil to become groundwater. Water makes up 70 percent of the Earth's surface. Most of the water is contained in the oceans, with only a small percentage available as freshwater, most of which is frozen in glaciers.

Groundwater reaches the surface through springs like this one in the Westcave Preserve in Texas. Groundwater is the biggest source of freshwater for ...

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