How Does Water Move through the Ground?
ES1401  Introduction

Few people in the United States drop a bucket down a well to collect water these days, but groundwater is still a major source of water for human use. Today, water that seeps into a well from the surrounding rocks is usually pumped to the surface with electric motors.

City of Pierre Water Department
Well #8 in Pierre, South Dakota

This well in Pierre, South Dakota supplies water for the municipal water system there. The pump brings water up from a rock layer approximately 20 meters below the surface. Consider how water can exist within the ground, in a layer of rock.

1. What characteristics of a rock layer allow it to hold water?

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