Using Private Wells to Cost-Effectively Complement and Extend Groundwater-Level Monitoring Networks, Build Consensus and Facilitate Sustainable Management
Tuesday, December 4, 2018: 2:10 p.m.
N107/108 (Las Vegas Convention Center)
Groundwater managers, private firms, consultants, and research scientists are expanding groundwaterlevel monitoring networks to provide greater spatial and temporal density of groundwater-level data required to meet new and changing sustainability goals. The primary limitations to monitoring expansion, however, are the costs of installing new monitoring wells and monitoring equipment, and the inability to monitor on private, stakeholder property where the groundwater risk is high, and little is known. The logical next step must, therefore, be to expand monitoring to private domestic and small agricultural production wells. To do this effectively requires new monitoring systems that don’t present the risk of groundwater contamination, loss or damage to equipment in a pumping well, and that can provide research and management ready data. Simple acoustic sensors connected to a cloud-based system provide the means to incorporate accurate, real-time data from private, production wells without touching water, while enabling tracking and tagging of sensor readings to handle pumping influence, and providing secure, flexible access to data online. Online access enables well owners and local stakeholders to have their own secure, account where they can have control over data sharing, monitor well operation, and view groundwater trends and seasonality. Expanding monitoring to private wells, with the appropriate technology, supports new requirements for dense groundwater-level data, but additionally provides the opportunity for direct stakeholder engagement with data, new and broader understanding of shared resources, and a smoother path to consensus around management strategies, supporting implementation and advancing progress towards sustainability goals.