Acoustic Technology Provides New Groundwater-Level Monitoring Opportunities
Monday, December 4, 2017: 2:50 p.m.
Acoustic groundwater-level monitoring systems are vital tools for creating and expanding data-dense, stakeholder-engaged monitoring networks. Telemetry enabled, acoustic groundwater-level sensors minimize contamination risk and operating complexity and benefit from the cloud, where automated plausibility and historical analysis provides accurate water level data despite local variables like obstructions, temperature change, and background noise, and maintains data quality control for long term monitoring. The technology is reshaping groundwater monitoring markets and practices since communities, agencies, and researchers are able to take advantage of previously untapped locations: the 15 million privately owned domestic and agricultural wells across the US. Low up front and operating costs, combined with rapid time intervals and automatic tagging of pump influenced readings reduce the cost per data-point over traditional methods, while creating new opportunities for evaluation and richer insight. Since the data can be shared with volunteers in formats designed for preventive maintenance, the effort and expense to start up and grow a spatially and temporally dense monitoring network is significantly reduced, while fostering community engagement between agencies and well owners around groundwater resource facts.