March 25, 2010--Groundwater vulnerability (Environmental News Network)

Groundwater is contained in aquifers, underground layers of water-bearing permeable rock or sediment such as silt, sand, or clay. Under, and sometimes over the aquifer is an aquiclude, a solid, impermeable layer such as clay that the water cannot penetrate. The top surface of the water saturated material is called the water table. For millennia, humans have dug wells to access this bountiful source of fresh water. Due to unsound environmental practices and the sheer increase in human numbers, aquifers around the world have been coming under heavy duress. There is even an Aquifer Vulnerability Index that is used by geologists and hydrogeologists to determine which areas are most being contaminated or depleted.

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