The most precious resource beneath the earth’s surface isn’t oil or diamonds. It’s groundwater. This year, groundwater is the focus of World Water Day, observed March 22. Although we can’t see it, there is more than 1,000 times more water in the ground than all the world’s lakes and rivers combined. In the United States, groundwater provides 40% of public-use water and 39% of water used for agriculture. In desert regions, where this treasure might be hidden hundreds of meters beneath the earth’s surface, it’s often the only source of water.

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