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Water caused by precipitation or melting snow, which spreads over land and stays on the surface (a swamp) or percolates through the ground.


The term 'surface water' encompasses all waters found on the earth's surface. Richard S. Harnsberger & Norman W. Thorson, Nebraska Water Law & Administration § 1.04 at 9-10 (Butterworth Legal Publishers 1984). In contrast, ground water is defined as ''that water which occurs or moves, seeps, filters, or percolates through the ground under the surface of the land.'' Id. at 12. Accord Neb. Rev. Stat. § 46-635 (Reissue 2004). 


Hydrologically, ground water and surface water are inextricably related. Ground water pumping can cause diminished streamflows. Streamflow can support the potential for subirrigation. Seepage from surface water supplies canals, and deep percolation of applied irrigation water from surface projects can recharge ground water aquifers. Harnsberger & Thorson, supra, § 5.30. Water law commentators have colorfully described this phenomenon: 'All water is interrelated and interdependent. If groundwater were red, most streams would be various shades of pink; if groundwater were poisoned, the streams would also be poisoned.' Richard S. Harnsberger et al., Groundwater: From Windmills to Comprehensive Public Management, 52 Neb. L. Rev. 179, 183 ...

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