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10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Groundwater Use in Daily Life

by Bryan Pashian Manalu

groundwaterWe already know that there are lots of people who utilize well water or groundwater to fulfill their daily needs. Truly, the groundwater possesses a significant role to maintain the availability of residence and industrial sources, and also maintain the balance of the sources, in general, there are several utilizations of water in human life.

What is the definition of groundwater? According to some experts, groundwater is water that found beneath the ground that can be collected by using a well, tunnel or drainage system, even by using a pumping system. Groundwater also can be called a stream that naturally flows into the ground surface through a jet of water or seepage. In addition, groundwater can be classified into shallow groundwater and deep groundwater.

The presence of groundwater due to rainwater, which most of it flows into river, lake, or swamp. Some of the rainwater will permeate into the ground and if this continuously takes place to the saturated zone, then the water will become groundwater. The ability of water to permeate into the ground through some small cracks is one of the properties of water. The position of groundwater can reach several tens or even hundreds of meters beneath the Earth’s surface. Here are 10 advantages and disadvantages of groundwater use in daily life.

Advantages of Groundwater

1. For Life Necessities

Inside the human body, most of it contains water. Our life can’t be separated from the water. Human can survive for a certain period of time without eating any food, however, human can’t survive any longer without water. Groundwater can be used for drinking water, bath, cooking, washing, and other activities. Generally, each house is equipped with the ground well with 5 to 15 meters depth, which is adjusted according to the area or ground condition where the house belongs to.

2. For Irigation

Irigation system must be supported by sufficient availability of water and one of the solutions of the water supply for irigation purpose is the presence of groundwater. Irigation is the important factor for agriculture. In example, farmer can create an artesian well and then pump the groundwater from the well up to surface then distribute the water to the farm. The existence of groundwater will support the farmer if the rainfall is at the lowest point or in the dry season.

3. As clean water supply

One of the advantages of the groundwater is as the natural clean water supply. The groundwater that covered beneath the ground has been through natural filtration so the hygiene of the groundwater is more assurred. One of the good signs of the groundwater is purity, doesn’t have taste and color, has neutral pH and doesn’t contain any harmful bacteria such as E. coli. The groundwater is better than surface water, which the surface water tends to contaminated because there is no cover of the surface water.

4. For electricity generation

As we know, the hydropower plants use surface water such as dam, river or lake. However, the groundwater also can be used to generate electricity. In example, in the area of South Gombong, the area isn’t supplied by any electricity companies, so the inhabitants of South Gombong took the initiative to create power plant by using flow of underground river. They dam up the flow and then the water was pumped up to the surface. Then, the water was distributed to power generation unit to drive the turbine and generator will generate electricity.

5. As nature laboratory

The existence of grounwater inside a cave can be used by researcers as nature laboratory. Due to its open location, the water source in a cave is easy to study. There are many things that can be studied about groundwater in a cave, because there are many unique organisms that live in the groundwater and it’s so in enticing for further research.

6. As industrial water source

Industrial sectors also need water as their raw material. One of the industries that needs water as raw material is bottled water industry. Besides that, batik industry also requires water for production process of batik fabric by using groundwater.

Disadvantages of Groundwater

1. Overused

Indeed groundwater is classified as renewable natural resource, however, the groundwater is exploited rapidly. Continuous usage of groundwater causes the decreasing of groundwater volume, this will causes several problems for farmers or residences that only depend on the usage of groundwater during the dry season and will find out that the water supply is wear off or decreasing.

2. Causing landslide

The decreasing of groundwater can cause depression of surface ground, if this continues to happen, there will be a degradation of the ground. Aside from causing empty space beneath the ground that cause the ground sinks in, the decreasing of the groundwater will cause degradation of plain land that cause area located around coastline or lowland tends to get flood or submerged in sea water. Groundwater is one of the causes of underwater landslides.

3. Water contamination

There are many researches show some areas in Indonesia have poor quality of groundwater. The contamination in groundwater cannot be vanish only by cooking the groundwater because the cooking process only relieve the existence of bacteria and not the contamination in the groundwater. The contaminated groundwater can cause some health problems such as indigestion, hypertension, mental development disorder, physical development of baby, and many other problems, if the contaminated groundwater is used or drank. Therefore, there are some water pollutions sources, including industrial waste that contaminates water sources.

4. Time and cost losses

Indeed the utilization of groundwater will require more manpower and time to do the digging and extraction process of the groundwater and then distribute it to the required place. The cost required for these processes isn’t cheap because aside from buying the required equipments, we also need to spend expenses to buy water supply if there are any problems or the groundwater supply is depleted.

Well, those are 10 advantages and disadvantages of groundwater use in daily life. As stated before, there are many advantages of groundwater for daily life, but also there are several disadvantages. In conclusion, we must protect the environment related to groundwater in order to preserve the availability and quality of the groundwater.

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