Refining Interpreation Techniques for Determingin Brackish Aquifer Water Quality
Brackish aquifer mapping has become a national priority in the past decade as an increasing population and water demand has created water shortages and generated a need for new water supplies. Developing maps and tools to identify the location and estimate the amount of brackish water in aquifers at the state level is essential to sustainable management and use of this resource. It is also important to increase our understanding of brackish groundwater supplies so local public entities can make scientific-based investment decisions that will lead to reliable sources in the future. Brackish aquifer mapping studies use a variety of existing geophysical well logs to interpret water quality in the aquifers. However, interpreting geophysical well logs for water quality can be difficult and at times uncertain. Many correction factors are needed based on local geology, well construction details, and chemistry of the groundwater. The purpose of this effort will be to answer the questions:
What are the primary challenges associated with interpreting geophysical logs to determine water quality?
What additional research is required to assist with those interpretation processes?
Need and Benefit
In many areas of world, there are rising concerns over the availability of fresh water supplies as the demand for water continues to grow due to increasing municipal, agricultural, and industrial water needs. While conventional water supplies and water management strategies continue to provide the majority of local and regional water supplies, the amount of potable water supplied by desalination will continue to increase. Entities across the nation have an urgent need to develop new water supplies to help stretch existing supplies traditionally provided by reservoirs during severe droughts. More detailed information is needed on brackish aquifers to expand development of the resource and provide a scientific basis for making policy decisions. The Department of Interior's WaterSMART initiative, through the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) Groundwater Resources Program, is conducting a national assessment of brackish aquifers, which is intended to develop national and regional scales aquifer information. Reclamation has the opportunity here to step in to facilitate and coordinate the brackish water resource investigations on a localized, state level scale.
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