All of the aquifers beneath the Pinelands are important since they provide drinking water for residents of the area and because they are limited in number. From an ecological perspective, however, the shallow Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer system has special significance.
The Kirkwood-Cohansey is the life blood of the Pine Barrens. Ninety percent of the water in streams, rivers and wetlands is supplied by this aquifer system in the form of baseflow. In addition, since water in this aquifer often occurs less than a few feet beneath ground surface, it directly supplies water to the roots of Pine Barrens trees, shrubs and plants. Some of which are rare, threatened or endangered. It is for this reason that the aquifer is referred to as the shallow water table aquifer.
[+ ZOOM] The upper Batsto River. © Albert D. Horner
On average the Pinelands receives about 44 inches of precipitation annually. About half of this water is transpired by vegetation or evaporates. A small amount enters streams as storm runoff. Only about 17 to 20 inches annually actually enters the ground. Some of this water works its way through the soil and eventually reaches the water table. From here a portion flows into nearby streams and wetlands providing the necessary water to sustain these ecosystems.
Check out our new campaign launched in 2017 called Save the Source.
Protecting Water for People and the Pines.
New Jersey’s network of rivers, wetlands and ground water is the source of life from the Pinelands to the Jersey Shore to the Delaware River and beyond. Millions of people depend on New Jersey’s ground water every day for drinking, their economic wellbeing and quality of life.
Save the Source is a campaign by Pinelands Preservation Alliance to protect the 17-trillion gallon Kirkwood-Cohansey Aquifer, a vast reserve of fresh water that underlies southern New Jersey and all of the Pinelands.
The Kirkwood-Cohansey is one of the cleanest aquifers in America. Yet it is threatened by overuse, pollution and degradation.
The future of the aquifer is being set TODAY. Join us as we unveil the stories of people whose lives and livelihoods rely on a healthy groundwater supply. Help us in the coming year as we work to make protection of every drop of water in the Kirkwood-Cohansey a priority.