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Artesian systems

Groundwater conditions formed by water-bearing rocks (aquifers) in which the water is confined above and below by impermeable beds. Because the water table in the intake area of an artesian system is higher than the top of the aquifer in its artesian portion, the water is under sufficient head to cause it to rise in a well above the top of the aquifer. Many of the systems have sufficient head to cause the water to overflow at the surface, at least where the land surface is relatively low. Flowing artesian wells were extremely important during the early days of the development of groundwater from drilled wells, because there was no need for pumping. Their importance has diminished with the decline of head that has occurred in many artesian systems and with the development of efficient pumps and cheap power with which to operate the pumps.

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From McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Environmental Science. The Content is a copyrighted work of McGraw-Hill and McGraw-Hill reserves all rights in and to the Content. The Work is © 2008 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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