Field Listing

Major aquifers

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This entry lists the major (mega) aquifer system(s) that underlie a country, keeping in mind that many of these mega aquifers are so large that they extend under multiple countries. More than 30% of freshwater is held in underground aquifers. There is great variation in the size of such aquifers, but a limited number of very large aquifer systems contain a majority of the World’s groundwater volume in storage.

  • Algeria

    Lullemeden-Irhazer Aquifer System, Murzuk-Djado Basin, North Western Sahara Aquifer, Taoudeni-Tanezrouft Basin

  • Angola

    Congo Basin, Upper Kalahari-Cuvelai-Upper Zambezi Basin

  • Argentina

    Guaraní Aquifer System

  • Australia

    Great Artesian Basin, Canning Basin

  • Bahrain

    Arabian Aquifer System

  • Bangladesh

    Indus-Ganges-Brahmaputra Basin

  • Bolivia

    Amazon Basin

  • Botswana

    Lower Kalahari-Stampriet Basin, Upper Kalahari-Cuvelai-Upper Zambezi Basin

  • Brazil

    Amazon Basin, Guarani Aquifer System, Maranhao Basin

  • Cameroon

    Lake Chad Basin

  • Canada

    Northern Great Plains Aquifer

  • Central African Republic

    Congo Basin, Lake Chad Basin

  • Chad

    Lake Chad Basin, Nubian Aquifer System

  • China

    North China Aquifer System (Huang Huai Hai Plain), Song-Liao Plain, Tarim Basin

  • Colombia

    Amazon Basin

  • Congo, Democratic Republic of the

    Congo Basin

  • Congo, Republic of the

    Congo Basin

  • Egypt

    Nubian Aquifer System

  • Ethiopia

    Ogaden-Juba Basin, Sudd Basin (Umm Ruwaba Aquifer)

  • France

    Paris Basin

  • Gabon

    Congo Basin

  • Gambia, The

    Senegalo-Mauritanian Basin

  • Guinea-Bissau

    Senegalo-Mauritanian Basin

  • India

    Indus-Ganges-Brahmaputra Basin

  • Iraq

    Arabian Aquifer System

  • Jordan

    Arabian Aquifer System

  • Kenya

    Ogaden-Juba Basin

  • Kuwait

    Arabian Aquifer System

  • Libya

    Nubian Aquifer System, North Western Sahara Aquifer System, Murzuk-Djado Basin

  • Mali

    Lullemeden-Irhazer Basin, Taodeni-Tanezrouft Basin

  • Mauritania

    Senegalo-Mauritanian Basin, Taodeni-Tanzerouft Basin

  • Mexico

    Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains Aquifer

  • Namibia

    Lower Kalahari-Stampriet Basin, Upper Kalahari-Cuvelai-Upper Zambezi Basin

  • Nepal

    Indus-Ganges-Brahmaputra Basin

  • Niger

    Lake Chad Basin, Lullemeden-Irhazer Basin, Murzuk-Djado Basin

  • Nigeria

    Lake Chad Basin, Lullemeden-Irhazer Aquifer System

  • Oman

    Arabian Aquifer System

  • Pakistan

    Indus Basin

  • Paraguay

    Guarani Aquifer System

  • Peru

    Amazon Basin

  • Qatar

    Arabian Aquifer System

  • Russia

    Angara-Lena Basin, Pechora Basin, North Caucasus Basin, East European Aquifer System, West Siberian Basin, Tunguss Basin, Yakut Basin

  • Saudi Arabia

    Arabian Aquifer System

  • Senegal

    Senegalo-Mauritanian Basin

  • Somalia

    Ogaden-Juba Basin

  • South Africa

    Karoo Basin, Lower Kalahari-Stampriet Basin

  • Sudan

    Nubian Aquifer System, Sudd Basin (Umm Ruwaba Aquifer)

  • Tunisia

    North Western Sahara Aquifer System

  • United States

    Northern Great Plains Aquifer, Cambrian-Ordovician Aquifer System, Californian Central Valley Aquifer System, Ogallala Aquifer (High Plains), Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains Aquifer

  • Uruguay

    Guarani Aquifer System

  • World

    summary statement: aquifers are underground layers of water-bearing permeable rock formations; they include alluvial formations such as unconsolidated sand and gravel aquifers, sedimentary rock formations of sandstone and karst (carbonate rocks such as limestone) aquifers, as well as volcanic aquifers, and basement aquifers (igneous and metamorphic rocks that underlie sedimentary and volcanic rock sequences); groundwater from aquifers can be extracted using a water well; The World Factbook lists 37 major aquifers across 52 countries; of these, 13 are in Africa, 10 in Asia, 5 in North America, 3 in South America, 4 in Europe, and 2 in Australia; although aquifers can vary in size, the major aquifers listed in The Factbook contain the bulk of the stored volume of groundwater; the fresh water held in these aquifers represents more than 30% of the World's fresh water; in the US, groundwater is primarily used for irrigation and globally, 70% of groundwater withdrawn is used for agriculture; groundwater also supplies almost half of all drinking water worldwide

  • Zambia

    Upper Kalahari-Cuvelai-Upper Zambezi Basin

  • Zimbabwe

    Upper Kalahari-Cuvelai-Upper Zambezi Basin