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Monday, October 1, 2012

Saving Groundwater

Currently some regions in Indonesia experienced the dry season, so the impact on clean water crisis. The dry season this year its impact has been felt badly for the people in several areas because these areas are no longer able to produce clean water.

Clean water is vital to human needs. Keep in mind that most people use water sourced from ground water. Ground water is a source of clean water (as long as no contaminated) contained in the pores and crevices of rocks. This water can seep into the soil up to several tens of meters below the earth's surface.

The main sources of ground water supply is rain water. Before becoming ground water, rain water percolating through various media such infiltration soil pores, soil cracks and cavities made land animals. In addition to percolate, soil water can evaporate by evaporation directly (through the pores in the surface of the soil as a result of warming sunlight) and evaporation indirectly (through leaf pores).
The Soil water system. (Picture from: http://www3.geosc.psu.edu/)
Based on the place, ground water can be grouped into shallow groundwater (soil water) and groundwater in the (ground zone). Shallow ground water is ground water within the pores of the top layer of soil. There is only shallow ground water during the rainy season. Due to the force of gravity, shallow groundwater will move down through the soil pores leading to the unsaturated zone.

The groundwater in the pores of the soil under the shallow water. Ground water is divided into two zones.
  • First, the unsaturated zone, which is the area that has not been saturated with water. Water in the unsaturated zone to survive a little longer in the fine pores in the soil layer is more dense and follow the law of capillarity.
  • Second, the saturated zone, which is the area saturated with water. Water in the saturated zone is very long stuck in the lining of the host rock are watertight. As a result, groundwater as if forming stagnant water reservoir. Water level in the saturated zone can be seen in ordinary wells.
Groundwater diagram. (Picture from: http://ga.water.usgs.gov/)
During this time the utilization of ground water remains a cornerstone fulfillment water some communities. In fact, the supposed urban water supplied by the water company that also utilize ground water reserves. Commercial buildings such as hotels and malls also meet the water needs to suck up groundwater because water needs are not met by the local water company.

The use of ground water resources is still a favorite for minimal pathogens or parasites. Beside that also ground water management is also easier. Water is pumped from wells and then filtered many times.

Ironically, the quality and quantity of ground water tends to decrease. The number of trees that have exacerbated minimal seepage of rain. Trees serve as filter at once absorbing rainwater flow. The number of trees that little rain resulted melimpas and very little is absorbed into the soil, so the soil water availability becomes less.

Meanwhile, more and more users pump borehole and ground water extraction for the industry is excessive exploitation that could lead to ground subsidence and a decrease in soil surface because of an imbalance between groundwater abstraction and the addition of natural causes. If excessive water extraction performed continuously diminishing rainfall while the soil water condition became critical.

In developed countries, the soil water deficit overcome by creating artificial groundwater. To generate artificial ground water, the surface water from rivers and lakes is injected into the ground. Surface water first through a series of initial screening, then absorbed or injected back into the ground in certain areas so that it becomes "ground water". After that, the water is pumped back into the channel for advanced process including disinfectants. Efforts to do with the disinfectant water chlorination (addition of chlorine), ozonation (ozone or O3 water-soluble organic matter will break down the bully and kill bacteria), and ultraviolet radiation (ultraviolet waves off pathogenic microorganisms).

Management of surface water until drinkable generally through a long series of double filtration system and the use of granular activated carbon to absorb pesticides and micro pollutants. Sometimes also conducted sedimentation or precipitation.
Schematic of natural and artificial (managed) recharge. (Picture from: http://archive.deltacouncil.ca.gov/)
Reduced ground water reserves are basically caused by human activity. On the other hand, population growth continues to increase impact on the increasing demand for clean water is sourced from ground water. This phenomenon must be addressed by the actions and policies that lead to ground water save efforts.

One of the efforts that we can do is to maintain ground water by rain water soak into the ground as much as possible. We can make holes in the ground to accelerate rainwater infiltration and architectural design house which contributes to the absorption of rainwater into groundwater. Another effort is to create a pool of infiltration that can absorb water in the pond into the ground to get into the ground water zone.

Actually ground water rescue efforts are not always answered with technology but also with the mindset about water management. The first thing to think about is to build ethical or application of the rules to change the behavior and mindset of the people about the importance of conserving water.

The first step that must be done is to reduce water consumption, especially originating from groundwater. The policy can be translated through the use of water-saving toilet or rinse once habit, so the impact on the reduction portion of sewage is not treated that has wasted enormous. *** [ZULVI HAETAMI | PIKIRAN RAKYAT 13092012]
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