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A procedure is presented for calculating the hydraulic conductivity of an aquifer near a well from the rate of rise of the water level in the well after a certain volume of water is suddenly removed. The calculation is based on the Thiem equation of steady state flow to a well. The effective radius Re over which the head difference between the equilibrium water table in the aquifer and the water level in the well is dissipated was evaluated with a resistance network analog for a wide range of system geometries. An empirical equation relating Re to the geometry of the well and aquifer was derived. The technique is applicable to completely or partially penetrating wells in unconfined aquifers. It can also be used for confined aquifers that receive water from the upper confining layer. The method's results are compatible with those obtained by other techniques for overlapping geometries.