The predominant regional effect of recharge on municipal groundwater quality in Kansas is the dilution of mineralized water in aquifers with relatively shallow water tables. The individual dissolved constituents contributing most to the water-quality variations are sulfate and chloride, and the calcium and sodium accompanying them, which are derived from the dissolution of evaporite minerals within the aquifer or from saline formation water in bedrock underlying the aquifer. The relationship between recharge and groundwater-quality variation can be quantified by associating certain climatic indices, especially the Palmer Drought Index, with quality observations. The response time of the maximum water-quality change relative to the occurrence of drought or substantial recharge ranges from a month to 3 years depending on the aquifer characteristics, and is generally proportional to the saturated thickness and specific yield. The response time is also affected by discharge to and recharge from nearby streams and by the well construction, particularly the placement of the screened interval, and pumping stress. ?? 1989.
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Effects of variations in recharge on groundwater quality