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Two sketches that show how water recharges and how pumping water from a well reduces streamflow.  In the first sketch, water recharges the aquifer at the water table. Ground water then flows toward the stream, where most of it discharges.  A small amount of ground water also discharges by evaporation and by transpiration from plants where the water table is close to the land surface. In the second sketch, ground-water withdrawals at the well lower the water table, alter the direction of ground-water flow, and reduce streamflow.

Figure 2. Ground-water flow to a stream in the Hunt-Annaquatucket-Pettaquamscutt Basin, Rhode Island, illustrating reduction in streamflow caused by ground-water withdrawals.

U.S. Geological Survey

Figure 2

USGS Fact Sheet FS-063-01

U.S. Department of Interior

October, 2001

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