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Karst aquifers are some of the most important and well-used sources of water worldwide. The tapping of karst waters for use as drinking water has been important in the historical and economic development of many karst regions. Recent studies have found that karstified rocks and aquifer systems cover c. 15% of the Earth’s ice-free land. The greatest area of karst outcrops (>1 × 106 km2) is in Russia, the USA, China and Canada. In the Mediterranean basin, groundwater is generally more abundant in karst than in other aquifers and has been extensively exploited. Karst groundwater is...

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