The amount of rain water that soaks into the ground depends on where the water table is in a given area. The water table is the level at which ground water is sitting. If the water table is low enough, a lot of the rain water will be absorbed into the ground to compensate for the low amoutn of ground water. If the water table is high, then you get standing water and potentially flooding because the water table has reached its maximum limit.
The location of the water table is important to determining how much rainwater gets absorbed into the ground as well as some other factors. One city that has a high water table is Chicago, since the city was built on a swamp, having a high water table means that absorption rate of rainwater will generally be slower than a city with a lower water table. The type of soil also affects the rate of absorption, some soils are more permeable than others and allow for a higher rate of absorption. The amount of paved area also affects the absorption rate, pavement is impermeable and causes water runoff which in many cases enters storm drains. This is a major problem for many big cities like Chicago which have a large amount of paved area such as roads, buildings, parking lots, streets, and few green spaces that are able to absorb rainwater.
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