Link to USGS home page.
Fact Sheet 2007-3002

Ground-Water Recharge in Minnesota

By G.N. Delin and J.D. Falteisek
small image of first page  

"Ground-water recharge" broadly describes the addition of water to the ground-water system. Most water recharging the ground-water system moves relatively rapidly to surface-water bodies and sustains streamflow, lake levels, and wetlands. Over the long term, recharge is generally balanced by discharge to surface waters, to plants, and to deeper parts of the ground-water system. However, this balance can be altered locally as a result of pumping, impervious surfaces, land use, or climate changes that could result in increased or decreased recharge.

• Recharge rates to unconfined aquifers in Minnesota typically are about 20–25 percent of precipitation.

• Ground-water recharge is least (0–2 inches per year) in the western and northwestern parts of the State and increases to greater than 6 inches per year in the central and eastern parts of the State.

• Water-level measurement frequency is important in estimating recharge. Measurements made less frequently than about once per week resulted in as much as a 48 percent underestimation of recharge compared with estimates based on an hourly measurement frequency.

• High-quality, long-term, continuous hydrologic and climatic data are important in estimating recharge rates.

Fact Sheet 2007-3002

[2.00-MB PDF; 8.5 x 11 paper]

Document Accessibility: Adobe Systems Incorporated has information about PDFs and the visually impaired. This information provides tools to help make PDF files accessible. These tools convert Adobe PDF documents into HTML or ASCII text, which then can be read by a number of common screen-reading programs that synthesize text as audible speech. In addition, an accessible version of Acrobat Reader 7.0 for Windows (English only), which contains support for screen readers, is available. These tools and the accessible reader may be obtained free from Adobe at Adobe Access.

Suggested Citation:

Delin, G.N., and Falteisek, J.D., 2007, Ground-Water Recharge in Minnesota: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2007-3002, 6 p.

For more information about USGS activities in Minnesota, visit the USGS Minnesota Water Science Center home page.

To order maps, publications, and other miscellaneous products on paper and compact disc media from the USGS, contact

USGS Information Services
Box 25286
Denver, CO 80225
Telephone: 1-888-ASK-USGS (275-8747)

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Persistent URL:
Page Contact Information: USGS Publishing Network
Last modified: Wednesday, March 7, 2007, 5:00 PM
FirstGov button Take Pride in America button