Friday, November 1, 2013

When the Wells Run Dry


I facilitate a small group of wetland professionals called the Groundwater Wetlands Study Group.  The other day we got an email from a conservation professional who was affiliated with a project in Mongolia. He reported that some of the springs on the nature reserve he oversees had gone dry. It is not a new thing to hear about a well going dry or even springs going dry. Being raised in the desert country of the Western United States I’ve heard a number of stories about people having to dig new wells or drive their existing well deeper into Earth. It does appear, however, as if these reports are becoming more and more frequent. 

At the same time, in some places, new aquifers are being discovered. Such a new discovery recently happened in the nation of Kenya.  Invariably, a new discovery is rapidly accompanied by plans to exploit the water.  Rarely do these plans include sustainable use that incorporates natural recharge of the aquifer.  We continue to produce more and more of us. We continue to invent more and more ways to use resources, including water. And we consistently fail to and anticipate the results of our being and our actions.

In many locations the need for water is so desperate that little thought is given to what will happen when the wells run dry and, unless the use incorporates recharge, they will run dry…all of them, eventually.

 (Thanks to Google for the use of the well images)