2016 NGWA Groundwater Summit

Use of the National Ground-Water Monitoring Network to Evaluate Selected Transboundary Aquifer Systems

Monday, April 25, 2016: 3:00 p.m.
Confluence Ballroom B (The Westin Denver Downtown)
William L. Cunningham , Office of Groundwater, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA
Thomas E. Reilly , USGS, Reston, VA
Daryll Pope , New Jersey Water Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Lawrenceville, NJ

Transboundary aquifer systems, by definition, cross a political boundary. The boundary may be international—but also can be a state or county boundary. Evaluation of aquifer conditions in transboundary aquifers often is time consuming because these data typically are in different data systems. Scientists and engineers must gather the data, assure data quality, and convert the measurements to a common datum prior to analysis. The National Ground-Water Monitoring Network (NGWMN) provides access to data of known quality in a common format, from disparate federal and state data systems transparently

The power of this capability is demonstrated by analyzing water-level data from three transboundary aquifer systems. First, water-level declines in the Lower Tertiary aquifer system (Montana/North Dakota/South Dakota) are presented. There are increasing demands on the aquifer system to support the water use necessary for increased energy production. Second, water-level declines in the Rio Grande aquifer system (New Mexico/Texas) are evaluated. Competing demands among these states and Mexico have resulted in water-level declines and subsequent lawsuits. Analysis of these data illustrates that the NGWMN provides a single, consistent dataset from which to evaluate the status of the nation’s aquifers and shared interstate groundwater resources. Because the NGWNMN and Canada’s Groundwater Information System adhere to international data-exchange standards, these same comparisons can be done across the U.S./Canada border. Analysis of selected transboundary aquifers between the United States and Canada also will be presented.

William L. Cunningham, Office of Groundwater, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA
Bill Cunningham is the Chief of the U.S. Geological Survey Earth Systems Processes Division. This office is the single focal point for disciplinary and interdisciplinary process studies research and development. Prior to joining the ESPD, Bill was the Chief of the Office of Groundwater, and prior to that he worked on groundwater science investigations in the Ohio and North Carolina Water Science Centers. Cunningham also serves as Co-Chair of the Subcommittee on Ground Water for the Federal Advisory Committee on Water Information. He received undergraduate and graduate degrees from The Ohio State University.

Thomas E. Reilly, USGS, Reston, VA
Thomas Reilly is the former Senior Scientist in the USGS Office of Groundwater.

Daryll Pope, New Jersey Water Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Lawrenceville, NJ
Daryll Pope has a B.S. in Watershed Science from Colorado State University and a Master's in Contaminant Hydrology from Oregon Graduate Institute. He has worked on groundwater studies and groundwater modeling throughout his career. Pope has been Groundwater Specialist at USGS New Jersey since 1995 and has been involved with the groundwater monitoring networks of the Science Center. He has been involved in several studies looking at groundwater availability.