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

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