Groundwater resources in Cape Verde provide water for agriculture, industry, and human consumption. These resources are limited and susceptible to contamination. Additional groundwater resources are needed for continued agricultural development, particularly during times of drought, but increased use and (or) climatic change may have adverse effects on the quantity and quality of freshwater available. In volcanic island aquifers such as those of Cape Verde, a lens of fresh groundwater typically ?floats? upon a layer of brackish water at the freshwater/saltwater boundary, and increased pumping may cause salt water intrusion or other contamination. A recent U.S. Geological Survey study assessed baseline groundwater conditions in watersheds on three islands of Cape Verde to provide the scientific basis for sustainably developing water resources and minimizing future groundwater depletion and contamination.