All living things depend on water to service. Water covers almost three quarters of the earth's surface, but only three percent of it is fresh water, and less than one third of that is usable. The remaining fresh water is locked up as snow and ice at the polar regions.
It is important to realize that our water resources are limited, and that we impact water quality and availability in subtle and sometimes far reaching ways. For example, mercury (a toxic chemical) is released into the atmosphere as a by-product of burning coal. It can be carried by the wind for hundreds of miles before coming down with rain or snow and contaminating streams, rivers, lakes, the ocean and ultimately the seafood we may eat.
Half of the rainwater falling on the 2,250 square mile Pine Barrens region seeps through the porous sandy soil and into the Kirkwood/Cohansy Aquifer. This 17 trillion gallon aquifer supplies most of Southern New Jersey's potable water. South Jerseys residents consume an estimated two hundred million gallons every day for drinking, washing the car, irrigating the lawn and garden, and many other uses. Surface runoff and seepage from this aquifer are also the primary sources for all of Southern New Jersey's rivers.