Water table

Water beneath the land surface occurs in two principal zones: the unsaturated zone and the saturated zone. The upper surface of the saturated zone is referred to as the water table. Below the water table, the water pressure is great enough to allow water to enter wells, thus permitting groundwater to be withdrawn for use.

The depth to the water table is highly variable. It can range from zero when it is at land surface, such as at a lake or wetland, to hundreds or even thousands of feet deep. In Minnesota, the water table is generally close to the land surface, typically within a few tens of feet in much of the state.