AWRI Information Services Center
Lower Grand Watershed Interactive Tool (WIT) - Groundwater
FYI on Local Water Issues
Much of Michigan's drinkable water comes from underground aquifers. The streams, rivers, and lakes of Michigan are fed by underground springs. The aquifers are fed by precipitation and recharge areas such as wetlands. Without groundwater the Great Lakes would shrink, and most of the streams, rivers, and lakes would dry up. Population growth, industrial processes, and pollution threaten groundwater. We need to protect our current supplies as well as the recharge areas starting today.
What would happen if we don't protect aquifers?
Large amounts of water withdrawals deplete the size of the aquifers causing water levels to decrease, and water bodies to warm up. Lower water levels decrease wildlife habitat, affect water recreational activities, and deplete water supplies. Warmer water can kill off fish by depleting oxygen. Fertilizers and pesticides would seep through the soil and be drawn up through wells for drinking water. From there the contaminated water would enter our main surface water bodies. Humans and wildlife are all affected by groundwater and if it is not protected many health issues could come about.
For more information on groundwater, consult the following resources:
- Michigan Groundwater Conditions
- GEM Michigan's Drinking Water
- West Michigan Environmental Council's Groundwater Program
- The Groundwater Foundation
- Groundwater Issues and Resources
- Understanding Groundwater - Portage County
- Groundwater definitions and graphics
- USGS What is Groundwater
Page last modified January 19, 2011