Surface and Groundwater

Bridge over a riverWater is one of our most important resources. The Earth’s freshwater is stored in lakes, rivers, and streams, or below ground in aquifers. Water collecting on the ground, or in a stream, river, lake, sea or ocean, is called surface water.

Groundwater is below the soil surface and develops from the seepage or infiltration of water into the ground. As water moves, both on the surface, and under the ground, suspended or dissolved substances such as pesticides can move with it. Because surface and groundwater are interconnected, cross contamination can occur.

This site provides information on the environmental fate of pesticides, how water may become contaminated with pesticides, and how contamination can be prevented. A glossary of important terms concerning water will explain terms that may be unfamiliar to you.

Photos courtesy of USDA NRCS and Ron Gardner

Compiled by Ron Gardner

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