1

I read a sentence in "The Hindu" which was:

In the case of water, the imperative is to stop the contamination of surface supplies by chemicals sewage and municipal waste.

How should the phrase "surface supplies" be comprehended?

1

Surface supplies refers to water that is found on the surface of the earth - in lakes, dams, rivers and the ocean.

That contrasts with underground supplies - known as groundwater - that are brought to the surface via boreholes, as well as underground rivers and water that flows through cave systems.

Vast amounts of water are also stored as ice in glaciers and in the Poles, most of which would deep beneath the surface.

(In the sentence you quote, there should be a comma after chemicals.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groundwater

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