How Many People Can an Aquifer Support?
ES1406  Water Levels in an Aquifer

Aquifers are permeable layers of rock that hold enough groundwater to supply wells. The level of an aquifer or height of the water table can be measured by checking the elevation of water in wells dug into the layer.

The level of water in an aquifer changes over time. If the amount of water put into the aquifer (recharge) is higher than the amount taken out of the aquifer (discharge), then the water level in the aquifer goes up. If discharge is greater than recharge, the water level goes down.

  !   Examine the graph showing water levels in the Arapahoe aquifer over time.
USGS
Historic water levels in the Arapahoe aquifer

1. From 1884 to 1960, by how many feet did the water level in the Arapahoe aquifer drop?

2. Give two explanations that could account for the decrease in the aquifer's water level.


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