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Water resources availability depend upon the local geology and can be grouped into one of two hydrostratigraphic types, depending on the permeability of the rock formation.

  • Aquifers are highly permeable and can therefore store and transmit (under the influence of a pressure gradient) significant quantities of groundwater.
  • Aquicludes have low porosity and do not store useful quantitities of groundwater: surface water is the main potential in these areas.

Most of Cockpit Country is a limestone aquifer: exceptions being the yellow limestone areas around the Central Inlier (the area from Albert Town, to Crown Lands) and on the west, from Maroon Town through Garlands, Niagara, Elderslie, Accompong to the Quickstep area. The Nassau Valley, to the south, is an Alluvium Aquifer and is the source of the Black River.
The remainder consists of aquicludes, and it is here that surface water, in the form of lakes, rivers and swamps, occurs.

The hydrologic properties of each hydrostratigraphic unit are explained below.