Presidential Address: Present Geological Research on Ground-Water Resources in Iowa

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Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, Vol: 61, Issue: 1, Page: 78-88

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Hershey, H. Garland
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In the presidential address of 1938 before this Academy and in the presence of many of you, A. C. Trowbridge outlined our water problems with the thought that generally such problems can best be solved after they have been brought out into the open. He was correct in his thinking and many of the problems that he recognized are now on the way to solution. Our water situation has changed so vastly in the intervening 16 years that it is apropos again to examine it. However, the mass of data is now so great that I shall attempt to discuss only one phase-ground water. In Iowa, as elsewhere, geological research on ground-water has expanded at a greatly increased rate during the past two decades because of the ever increasing demands for water by industry and agriculture, a growing awareness of its importance in economic development, and the successful and sometimes dramatic application of techniques and skills in the solution of problems. Inasmuch as ground water occurs in rocks and its quality and availability are controlled largely by the rocks, research in groundwater resources is pre-eminently a geologic problem. This research involves most phases of geology although much is adapted from the related fields of engineering, chemistry, physics, mathematics and soil science in such a way that these adaptations must be considered to be a part of geological research. As a result, groundwater geology has developed specialized techniques, instruments, principles, and personnel to meet the need and demand that was early recognized in this State.