GROUND WATER:  Ground water vs. groundwater


             UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
                         GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
                      RESTON, VIRGINIA  22092

                                                August 22, 1974

GROUND WATER BRANCH TECHNICAL MEMORANDUM NO. 75.03

Subject:  GROUND WATER:  Ground water vs. groundwater

The term ground water in its two-word form is ingrained in the
hydrologic literature of this country.  In recent years the one-
word form, groundwater, has appeared increasingly in certain
outside publications and the dual forms have caused some
confusion.

The Ground Water Branch traced the rise in the one-word usage to
its appearance in Webster's New Third International Dictionary,
published in 1967.  Through correspondence with Webster's Editor
(copies attached), we have learned that the one-word listing is
considered ill-advised, and we concluded from Mr. Shea's letter of
July 30, 1974 that the next issue of the Third International would
restore the traditional two-word spelling.  All other Webster
dictionaries have carried the two-word spelling uninterruptedly.

The two-word form is standard for reports of the U.S. Geological
Survey and we are communicating with organizations using the one-
word form in an attempt to encourage adoption of the traditional
form to avoid further confusion.



                                   (s) Gerald Meyer
                                   Chief, Ground Water Branch
                                   Water Resources Division

Attachments

WRD Distribution:  A, B, S, FO, PO