Groundwater flow system


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Terms & Synonyms

Official WHO Definition

A groundwater flow system is a discrete, closed three-dimensional system containing flow paths from the point at which recharging water enters an aquifer to the topographically lower point at which it leaves the aquifer (WHO 2006). A Ground Water Flow System is the movement of ground water that is under ground and flows along flow paths from areas of recharge to areas of discharge (World Plumbing Council Working Group 2008).   

Other Definitions


Interpretations and Explanations

In many aquifers, the hydraulic head reflects the topographic surface of the ground, and groundwater therefore moves from elevated regions where recharge occurs to discharge zones at lower elevations. Thus within the context of the overall cycle and the source-pathway-receptor concept, the groundwater flow system is a useful way of describing the physical occurrence, movement and hydrochemical evolution of groundwater (WHO 2006). A ground water flow is the movement of ground water which normally occurs as slow seepage through the pore spaces of earth materials, or through fractures and openings in consolidated rocks. The movement of water is generated from a natural pressure zone to a discharge point. The discharge points include natural springs, lakes, wetlands or oceans. Discharge also occurs at bore pump wells where the water is pumped from the ground (World Plumbing Council Working Group 2008).  


WHO (2006) Protecting groundwater for health.

WHO Lexicon page (translations and examples)

See also

External Resources


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