Once upon a time, the rain fell in lovely droves. It freely splattered and gushed and rushed and rolled. And then all that energetic water promptly drained into the earth, absorbed by the roots of plants and trees, and naturally filtered through soil and rocks before getting stored underground.
That’s basically the gist of groundwater recharge. It’s a nice-sounding name; “recharge” almost seems like a dynamic process, as if water was being refreshed and transformed and made new again. We’ve all been taught the wondrous water cycle in our grade school years—how water from our rivers, lakes and seas evaporates and becomes clouds, and then condenses as rain or snow, falls back to earth, joins the rivers and lakes and seas again, and some of it seeping into the ground.
So yes, in many ways, it really is a dynamic, even magical process. Everything is taken care of naturally.
And Then the World Was Paved
Sadly, all that dynamic and magical process gets disrupted in our built world.
Paved in concrete and asphalt, the ground is effectively barred from absorbing and filtering stormwater. Water now has no choice but to rush aboveground, carrying with it man-made pollutants and contaminants such as grease and oil, road salts, heavy metal, pesticide and fertilizers residues, sediments, and many others. All these empty into drains and sewers and end up into lakes and rivers, endangering aquatic life.
Toxic algae which …