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Degraded Aquifer Water Quality

The water quality is generally lower in the deeper parts of aquifers, resulting in higher filtration costs for agricultural as well as rural uses. The concentration of mineral salts in depleted aquifers can render the groundwater useless for many water supply purposes. Federal drinking-water standards require that total dissolved solids not exceed 500 parts per million. Agriculture also has specific limits, although these vary based on the salinity tolerance of different crops. In general, a salinity level of greater than 1,000 ppm renders water useless for most irrigation applications (Leonard, 1986).

Andy Wingo 2001-12-10