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This ground water is vulnerable to contamination from the land surface, and many contaminants in the water would follow the same paths and have similar travel times from recharge areas to points of use as the chemical substances analyzed in this study.The effects of contamination may not be seen for several years after a contaminant is introduced into the groundwater system.Dating ground water by using CFCs is possible because their amounts in the atmosphere over the past 50 years have been reconstructed.Age is determined by relating the measured concentrations of these substances in ground water back to known historical atmospheric concentrations and(or) to calculated concentrations expected in water in equilibrium with air.Approximately 350,000 people, more than half of Alaskas population, reside in the basin, mostly in the Anchorage area.However, rapid growth is occurring in the Matanuska Susitna and Kenai Peninsula Boroughs to the north and south of Anchorage.Ground water moves slowly from its point of recharge to its point of use or discharge.
Two large local flow systems were formed because of overexploitation, and the regional flow system from north to south no longer exists.
Groundwater ages of the medium-depth groundwater ranged from 3.5–25,790 a.
Groundwater is relatively young in most of the piedmont area, although two high-age zones (with ages 20,000 a) exist in the center of the plain.
Ground-water resources provide about one-third of the water used for domestic, commercial and industrial purposes in the Anchorage metropolitan area and are the sole sources of water for industries and residents outside Anchorage.
In 1997, a study of the Cook Inlet Basin was begun as part of the U. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment Program. Samples of ground water were collected from 35 existing wells (Fig.