aquifer

noun
aqui·​fer | \ ˈa-kwə-fər How to pronounce aquifer (audio) , ˈä- \

Definition of aquifer

: a water-bearing stratum of permeable rock, sand, or gravel

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Other Words from aquifer

aquiferous \ a-​ˈkwi-​fə-​rəs How to pronounce aquiferous (audio) , ä-​ \ adjective

Aquifer and Agriculture

The vast but relatively shallow Ogallala Aquifer lies beneath the Great Plains, under portions of eight states. Its thickness ranges from a few feet to more than a thousand feet. The Ogallala yields about 30 percent of the nation's groundwater used for irrigation in agriculture, and provides drinking water for most of the people within the area. But for many years more water has been extracted from the Ogallala than has been returned, and the situation today is of great concern.

Examples of aquifer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Both Republicans and Democrats are backing measures in the Legislature that would enable Arizona to start measuring how much groundwater is pumped in unregulated rural areas where aquifers have been declining. Ian James, azcentral, "Mohave County leaders ask state to help safeguard declining groundwater," 9 Feb. 2020 But fracking, which involves injecting high pressure liquid into underground rock formations to release trapped oil and gas, has caused adverse environmental effects like earthquakes and the pollution of aquifers across the United States. NBC News, "Oil-backed Blue Wave: New Mexico funds progressive policy through fracking," 27 Oct. 2019 Growers will have to take more water out of underground aquifers to feed their crops, drawing down a limited supply of groundwater, often at great cost. Allegra Kirkland, Quartz, "What climate change will do to three major American cities by 2100," 18 Oct. 2019 Heather Noyes Gregg, Denver Draining the San Luis Valley deep water aquifer is the worst idea imaginable. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Don’t dry up the San Luis Valley (9/22/19)," 22 Sep. 2019 But earthquakes set off by pumping fresh water out of underground aquifers haven’t received much attention, says study co-author Emily Brodsky, a seismologist at the University of California (UC), Santa Cruz. Michael Price, Science | AAAS, "Sea of Galilee earthquakes triggered by excessive water pumping," 26 July 2019 The sales tax for the aquifer, parks and creekways would expire and not be on the ballot. Joshua Fechter, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio officials: City could keep aquifer protection program while shifting sales tax to public transit," 29 Jan. 2020 Nine years ago, during the 2011 drought, the demand for water was lower, and the aquifer itself held more water, Bell says. Popular Science, "Last year’s historic floods ruined 20 million acres of farmland," 20 Jan. 2020 New Mexico Albuquerque: The state’s largest water utility has started operating its first aquifer storage well, and officials say more direct injection wells are planned within the utility’s service area through Albuquerque and Bernalillo County. USA TODAY, "Retiring 102-year-old, Mississippi’s bad dam, snowplow strike: News from around our 50 states," 16 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aquifer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of aquifer

1897, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for aquifer

borrowed from French aquifère "water-bearing," from aqui- (from Latin aqua "water" + -i- -i-) + -fère "bearing" — more at aqua, -fer

Note: Term introduced into English by the geologist William Harmon Norton (1856-1944) in "Artesian Wells of Iowa," Iowa Geological Survey, vol. 6, Report on Lead, Zinc, Artesian Wells, etc. (Des Moines, 1897), p. 130: "The sand represents the permeable water-bearing layer, the aquifer, to revive a term of Arago's, and its outcrop between the basin rims the area of supply." "Arago" is the French physicist François Arago (1786-1853), whose essay "Sur les puits forés, connus sous le nom de puits artésiens, des fontaines artésiennes, ou de fontaines jaillissants" (Bureau des Longitudes, Annuaire pour l'an 1835 [Paris, 1834], pp. 181-258, is cited earlier in Norton's paper. As noted by Alfred Clebsch ("Analysis and Critique of 'Aquifers, Ground-Water Bodies, and Hydrophers' by C.V. Theis," Selected Contributions to Ground-Water Hydrology by C.V. Theis, and a Review of His Life and Work [U.S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 2415] [Denver, 1994], pp. 39-43), Norton is not strictly speaking "reviving" anything used by Arago, who only uses aquifère as an adjective in the collocations nappe aquifère and couche aquifère (both meaning approximately "water-bearing layer"). Note that in an English translation of Arago's article ("On Springs, Artesian Wells, and Spouting Fountains," Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, vol. 18, no. 36 [April, 1835] there is no direct equivalent of aquifère, as couches aquifères is rendered by "water bearing beds" and nappe aquifère as simply "water."

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Time Traveler for aquifer

Time Traveler

The first known use of aquifer was in 1897

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Last Updated

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Aquifer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aquifer. Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for aquifer

aquifer

noun
How to pronounce aquifer (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of aquifer

technical : a layer of rock or sand that can absorb and hold water

More from Merriam-Webster on aquifer

Nglish: Translation of aquifer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about aquifer

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