The importance of protecting groundwater resources cannot be overstated, and many people throughout the world seem anxious to physically and financially support a rational program to this end. Public complacency regarding the quality of groundwater was destroyed with headline-grabbing incidents of pollution such as Love Canal, Valley of the Drums, and Times Beach. Contrary to earlier popular belief, the soil mantle has been shown to be ineffective in cleansing certain pollutants from the water flowing through it. The legislative basis for developing and implementing broad groundwater quality protection programs exists, although it is dispersed in a variety of pieces of legislation. Such programs presuppose the existence of the scientific knowledge necessary to produce viable and effective results from its implementation.