As part of a study of the status of investigations and development of ground water in Brazil, made under the auspices of the United States International Cooperation Administration and with the cooperation of the Government of Brazil, the country was divided into seven ground-water provinces. The identification and delineation of the provinces were based on the regional distribution of the dominant geologic units which are known or inferred to have distinctive water-bearing characteristics.
Three of the provinces, covering most of the country, are underlain by Precambrian crystalline rocks. Three others coincide in part with four extensive sedimentary basins--the Parnaiba or Maranhfio basin and the contiguous Sao Francisco basin in the northeast and east, the Amazon basin in the north and northwest, and the Paranfi basin in the south and southwest. In addition, the narrow, discontinuous coastal plain is considered as a province. the occurrence of ground water is discussed briefly, and pertinent data are given on the more important aquifers, together with information on some existing wells. Because of the widespread distribution of crystalline rocks of low permeability, it is difficult in many areas to develop large or even adequate ground-water supplies. In general, satisfactory supplies of water are available in most of the rest of the country. Some problems include the relative deficiency of rainfall in the northeast together with the occurrence, in parts of this region, of mineralized water in the crystalline rocks. Also, there is a potential problem of excessive lowering of water levels and interference among wells in the intensively developed area of the city of Sao Paulo.