USGS Groundwater Information
New & Noteworthy
USGS Groundwater Watch
USGS maintains a network of active wells to provide basic statistics about groundwater levels.
USGS in Your State
USGS Water Science Centers are located in each state.
Groundwater and Surface-Water Interactions
Traditionally, management of water resources has focused on surface water or ground water as if they were separate entities. As development of land and water resources increases, it is apparent that development of either of these resources affects the quantity and quality of the other. Nearly all surface-water features (streams, lakes, reservoirs, wetlands, and estuaries) interact with ground water. These interactions take many forms. In many situations, surface-water bodies gain water and solutes from ground-water systems and in others the surface-water body is a source of ground-water recharge and causes changes in ground-water quality. As a result, withdrawal of water from streams can deplete ground water or conversely, pumpage of ground water can deplete water in streams, lakes, or wetlands. Pollution of surface water can cause degradation of ground-water quality and conversely pollution of ground water can degrade surface water. Thus, effective land and water management requires a clear understanding of the linkages between ground water and surface water as it applies to any given hydrologic setting.
- Robert M. Hirsch, Chief Hydrologist, USGS
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