2016 NGWA Groundwater Summit

Texas Brazos River Alluvium Aquifer Initiative: Working Together to Monitor and Manage Groundwater

Monday, April 25, 2016
Confluence Ballroom Foyer (The Westin Denver Downtown)
Wayne Hamilton, PE, PG, Research Staff , Geosciences, Baylor University
Joe Yelderman Jr., PhD, PG , Geosciences, Baylor University

The Brazos River Alluvium Initiative (BRAI) consists of Baylor University and Southern Trinity Groundwater Conservation District (STGCD) working with private landowners to gather data to manage the water-bearing sediments of the Brazos River in McLennan County, Texas. Without the above participants, the county-wide understanding of the Brazos River alluvium aquifer (BRAA) would be difficult and fragmented. The BRAA has mainly served as irrigation water, however, with water demand in McLennan County increasing, alternate sources of water are being investigated. The goal of this work is to provide decision makers scientifically based data to manage the BRAA.  To date, there has been no consistently identified network of monitor wells to manage the BRAA as has been done with other aquifers in the county. Regional studies and monitoring in the BRAA have been conducted, but not using a network of continuous and monthly data logged water level measurements. This proposed network of wells will be used by the STGCD in combination with hydrogeologic interpretations by Baylor to understand and manage available alluvium water.  The STGCD has the legislative directive to conserve, preserve, protect, recharge and prevent the waste of groundwater as found in the Texas Water Code. The goals of the university are to conduct research and prepare students to interpret the BRAA interbedded and complex geometry of upward fining-sediments ranging in size from clay to gravel in the BRAA. Once the network is in place, additional and long term areas of BRAA research include: recharge rates from rainfall and river stages, sustainable yields from alluvium wells, and contamination impact assessment.

Wayne Hamilton, PE, PG, Research Staff, Geosciences, Baylor University
Since January 2015 Wayne has been a research staffer at Baylor University focused on assisting graduate students and professors with groundwater research. Prior to Baylor, Wayne worked thirty-four years of experience with Shell’s Mining, Engineering, Marketing, Exploration and Production, and Development business units. He retired from Shell on November 1, 2014. Assignments were as Geological Engineer, Hydrogeologist, Environmental Engineer, Environmental Manager, Legacy Properties Manager, Safety and Oil Spill Response Manager. His business unit experienced includes: Mining, Distribution, Exploration and Production, Pipeline, Refinery, Retail facilities and Project Development. Environmental experience includes: risk based corrective action, soil and groundwater assessment and remediation, project management, contract negotiations, due diligence, auditing, environmental advocacy, regulatory permitting, impact assessment and oil spill response. In January 2015 he became a staffer at Baylor University focused on assisting students and faculty with their groundwater research. Wayne was on the Editorial Board of Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation from 1987 until 1993. Also, he is a Professional Engineer and Professional Geologist. He received in 1977 a bachelors degree in Geology from the University of South Florida; 1980 a Masters degree in Geological Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla and 1999 Professional Engineering Degree from the University of Missouri-Rolla. Wayne is married to Mary (Watson) Hamilton for 33 years and has three grown children.

Joe Yelderman Jr., PhD, PG, Geosciences, Baylor University
Joe Yelderman Jr. is a professor in the Department of Geology at Baylor University. He is currently the director of the Institute for Ecological, Earth, and Environmental Sciences. His specialty areas are hydrogeology and environmental geology. His research interests include springs, groundwater/surface-water interactions, and urban hydrogeology.