Aquifers are considered geological configurations in the form of rocks, soil, and sand within underground water sources. As groundwater moves throughout these small openings (spaces, cracks), it becomes stored in the aquifers. Aquifers work in holding large quantities of groundwater that can be used as drinking water or in other applications such as agricultural, industrial or commercial.
Aquifers are shaped irregularly and are sometimes near the surface or otherwise very deep in underground areas. The nearer the aquifer is to the surface level, the less effort it takes to attain the water. However, these closer aquifers are more prone to pollution due to being exposed to contaminants near the surface area, which are likely to flow down through porous rocks. Many houses contain aquifers underneath, possibly on top of one another. For this reason, wells can provide various water quality around residential areas.
Aquifers are recharged with water when its stock is low as more water is pulled out. This is necessary since as more water is removed from the aquifers, drying will take place and when that happens, the ground above the aquifer will begin to crumble. Any houses or buildings above these aquifers will experience damage.
How Much Do We Rely On Aquifers?
Aquifers hold groundwater, which is responsible for providing over half of the US population with drinking water and almost the entire rural population.
More than 60% of groundwater is used for the purposes of growing crops in irrigation applications.
Groundwater is the most used water source for most industrial processes in the world.
Humans are only capable of utilizing about one percent of surface water so aquifers are needed to obtain groundwater.