Delaware Groundwater Monitoring Network

Project Status
Active

Long time-series of water levels in major aquifers serve as critical baseline data for resource management and analyses of aquifer response to pumping, climatic variability, drought hazards, seawater intrusion, and interaction with streams and their ecosystems. The Delaware Geological Survey (DGS) currently monitors groundwater levels in a network of wells in Delaware. The number of wells fluctuates annually with funding and staffing resources.  The data are maintained in a relational database and served to stakeholders via a web interface. DGS periodically reviews the network to ensure it is meeting the needs of the State. A recent project done at the request of the Delaware Water Supply Coordinating Council (WSCC) added more than 20 wells to the network in southern New Castle and northern Kent Counties.  A similar three-year project was funded in fiscal year 2017 for Kent County. As part of this project we are automating data collection, reduction, and archiving to increase efficiency and quality control while sustaining  the statewide network over time. We are inspecting the condition of wells in the current monitoring network  in addition to wells that may be included at a later date, using down-hole videos, slug tests, and wellhead security assessments. This supports evaluation of the long-term availability and sustainability of the groundwater supply, management of the resource, and a myriad of uses by the environmental management, engineering, and science communities.

Latest developments (May 2017) In anticipation of needs to monitor for saltwater instrusion we deployed and are testing operations of salinity sensors in several wells along the Atlantic and Delaware Bay coasts. The DGS database holds over 14.7 M instrument measured and 65 K manual measured groundwater levels. Instrumentation has generated over 48 K daily temperature and 298 K specific conductance records. We are seeking resources to expand monitoring to include routine groundwater quality sampling and analyses.