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Many people assume that water is an unlimited natural resource Is this true Although water appears abundant recent circumstances indicate that it is seriously vulnerable to pollution and depletion Throughout this essay we will examine what ground water is how it is important in the water cycle how its contamination can affect us and what we can do to protect our ground water from contaminationGround water is the water found in spaces between soil particles and rocks within cracks of the bedrock Ground water constitutes approximately 4 of all water in the hydrologic cycle Averett McKnight 1986 Some ground water can be found beneath the land surface in most of the United States Because of its availability and general good quality ground water is widely used for household needs and other purposes Water can be found beneath the ground almost everywhere About 97 of the worlds fresh water is ground water The quality and amount of ground water that is available varies from place to place Major reservoirs of ground water are referred to as aquifers Aquifers in some of the provinces extended underground far beyond the areas where they are mapped at or near the land surface Ground Water Atlas of the United States These aquifers occur in two types of geologic formations Consolidated formations are those composed of solid rock with ground water found in the cracks Unconsolidated formations are composed of sand and gravel cobblestones or loose earth or soil material The amount of ground water in an unconsolidated formation varies depending on how closely packed the solid materials are and how fine-grained they are Sand and gravel and cobblestone formations are generally high-yield aquifers whereas finer-grained earth materials may have low yields Aquifers and aquifer systems can be grouped into three categories depending on the degree of consolidation of the rocks and deposits that compose the aquifers Rocks of Precambrian Paleozoic and early Mesozoic ages generally are consolidated rocks of Cretaceous
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