Protecting America’s Waters

Groundwater and the importance of clear writing

Do you feel it is important to have universal acceptance of scientific terms for consistency in written communications and writing? I believe

it is vital that science writing be clear and consistent! As an example, "Groundwater" is defined simply as water located beneath the earth's surface in soil pore spaces and in the fractures of rock formations. The term "groundwater" has evolved and there is still an alternate version of the term, "ground water", in use. This causes confusion and uncertainty by readers and it is time for all of us to adapt to the rapid changes in English. The public is familiar with new terms such as "Blog" and new terms using older words such as "Twitter". If scientists are working to protect America's waters, the use of the same term, "groundwater" in all writing would be logical.

What do you think?


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  1. Comment
    Peggy Dirsa

    the terms or phrases used are the least of our problems.

  2. Comment
    John Mason

    Being able to communicate clearly and effectively is essential. The public can easily get confused, so well-defined and consistent terms (like "Groundwater") should be used by the scientific community.

  3. Comment

    I have also been annoyed by the inconsistency (groundwater vs. ground water), especially if people go back and forth between those spellings in the same document. Maybe one reason for the confusion is that the leading groundwater organization is called the National Ground Water Association. However, even they consistently use the spelling "groundwater" on their website (or Web site?).

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