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1. - Groundwater Watch Overview

The USGS Groundwater Watch pages present groundwater level data from wells and discharge data from springs currently in a regular measurement program.

Individual wells can be present in multiple networks. For instance, a well with real time instrumentation that is designed to monitor climate effects will be present in at least 3 networks: Real Time, Climate Response, and Active Water Levels. Springs are presented in their own network and incorporated into the Active Water Level network. Springs are not included in any other networks at this time.

Because most USGS wells and springs are supported through State and local agencies, these web pages generally are designed using political boundaries: by State. If the network contains a large number of sites, there also is a county "layer" of pages. Networks organized by U.S. Principal Aquifers are organized by state and county within the individual Principal Aquifer.

Benefits of Groundwater Watch
Groundwater Watch is a supplemental tool to NWISWeb and, as such, is able to provide additional benefits to the groundwater community. NWIS is the authoritative database for USGS groundwater data, and NWISWeb is the public interface for these groundwater data. But NWISWeb must provide all types of data, including all 850,000 wells and springs. Groundwater Watch focuses on a smaller population of actively monitored wells and selects appropriate wells for inclusion in identifiable networks. These networks have specific criteria for the wells that are selected and enable ready analysis of the information on a national basis.

Groundwater Watch combines different types of water-level observation measurements (periodic, continuous, and real time) and combines those records to provide an evaluation of the response of the well over time. Statistics are calculated for each well contained in one of the national networks, which enables the current water level to be placed in a historical context regardless of measurement frequency. The nationwide networks in Groundwater Watch provide the only nationwide groundwater level observation networks available for the Nation at this time (2014). Although there are more than 20,000 wells in Groundwater Watch, many of the Nationís aquifers are not adequately described by the water-level data provided by Groundwater Watch. A more comprehensive monitoring program for the Nationís aquifers is needed.

Last Updated: 11/5/2014 8:55:23 AM